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Income Loss from Work-Related Injury Is a Costly Problem

Prevent work related injuries

When you think of on-the-job injuries, some trades probably come to mind: construction, manufacturing, nursing, trucking. The fact is, the risk of work-related injury and illness span every industry, and their consequences are expensive and complex.

In 2015, U.S. employers reported 104 cases of nonfatal occupational illness or injury per every 10,000 full-time employees, many of whom required time off of work to recuperate.

The cost of disability leave

Adding insult to literal injury, employees out on short-term leave face medical and legal appointments, time away from hobbies and other chores that aggravate their condition and, at least until government and/or employer compensation kicks in, a threat to their predictable income.

Thankfully, supplemental income loss insurance and short-term disability insurance plans can help injured workers make ends meet until they’re back on their feet. Without a doubt, though, the best plan in the face of potential injury is to prevent it in the first place.

That’s where ergonomics—the study of working environments, processes and hazards—comes in.

Ergonomics and workplace injury

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) workers are especially vulnerable to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) if their jobs require they:

  • exert excessive force;
  • come in regular contact with vibration;
  • carry out activities with a repetitive motion;
  • hold a static or awkward position for an extended period;
  • or spend prolonged time in cold temperatures.

Your employer is responsible for providing you with a safe environment and ergonomically sound tools and equipment. Keep an eye out for early signs and symptoms of MSDs such as a reduced range of motion or sensations like numbness or burning. If you sense something is wrong, alert your employer immediately. It’s in everyone’s best interest to adjust your working conditions before serious and/or permanent damage occurs.

Work safety resources

Both the U.S. Department of Labor and the Centers for Disease Control offer ergonomics-related eTools, worksheets, videos and checklists for jobs that span all trades. Even small adjustments can make big improvements. Glance at these resources, take a tip from their research and take good care of you.