You may have missed the recent National Safety Month, and for good reason – we’ve all been more than a little preoccupied with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that’s gripping the country. However, national safety is now more important than ever was as we all work to find ways to protect our families and stay healthy.
This year, due to COVID-19, safety in and out of the workplace has been front-of-mind for most of the world. As we navigate how to live and work safely during this time, the CDC is providing resources and information for all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is partnering with the National Safety Council to help employers prioritize safety as they slowly return employees to traditional work environments and schedules as the pandemic allows.
This year, attention is being focused on four major areas of concern that healthcare providers see as key influencers on the overall safety of our country’s citizens. Here at Community Health Connections, we’re doing our part to share these concerns and work closely with area employers and our patients to help ensure the safety of all.
Here are four key safety topics we should all carefully consider:
Health effects of stress lead to higher absenteeism, turnover, and loss of productivity, as well as higher healthcare costs. The long-term impact of stress also leads to chronic health conditions. Fortunately, there are steps that both individuals and their employers can take to help reduce stress which in turn may reduce the impact of chronic health conditions. Contact the healthcare professionals here at CHC to learn what you can do to help yourself and your loved ones reduce stress levels.
This relates to problems with your muscles and bones, which are on the rise as growing numbers of people are doing more at work and home, often engaging in physical activities that they might not typically do under normal circumstances. Ergonomic problems are most often caused by overexertion and can have an adverse effect on a wide range of other activities and even overall health. Stretching can be a helpful way to prevent or lessen ergonomic issues. Regular stretching gives the body the necessary breaks it needs throughout the day. Even small changes can help keep bodies working at their best for a long time to come.
Creating a Culture of Safety
Primarily a concern for employers, building a culture of safety puts safety first and can help protect workers from harm while enhancing their overall health and well-being. It can work equally as well at home. Emphasizing safety isn’t a “one and done” project – it requires continuous effort to reduce risks in the home and workplace by identifying potential hazards and establishing safety procedures such as routine check-ins, safe emergency evacuation spots, and emergency resource contacts for quick assistance in times of need.
Safe driving should be a top concern for everyone, but these days it’s an even bigger concern for overtaxed workers with longer shifts, more stress and distractions, and other risk factors that can contribute to motor vehicle accidents. Remember that any non-driving activity is a potential distraction and increases the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. Research shows that hands-free phones are just as distracting as hand-held. When driving becomes secondary, drivers pay less attention to possible dangers on the road. Phone, video-, or web-conferencing should not be done when driving. We all share the roadways, including vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Staying safe means constantly scanning the roads for potential hazards, and that requires us to be at our best.
Any time is a great time to take a moment to think about how you can put safety into practice in your daily life. For more ways to promote safety at home and work, contact the healthcare professionals here at Community Health Connections.