Every profession comes with it’s own set of risks. However, when you think of work-related injuries, you likely picture broken bones, falling materials, burns, or something of the like. However, work-related injuries come in all forms and fashions. Take, for example, computer eye strain. Computer eye strain originates from an obvious source— spending your workday staring into a computer. In fact, computer eye strain has become a major job-related complaint for computer workers. So, how do know when you’re on the receiving end of computer eye problems? What can you do to prevent it? And lastly, what can you do to treat the damage?
Computer Eye Problems: Common Computer Worker Injuries
Prevention and Management
Comprehensive eye exams are a necessity when you spend most of your days in front of the computer. Therefore, it’s important that you take measures to prevent damage, but also to document changes in your eyesight in case of injury. When seeing an eye doctor, make sure to tell them how often you work on a computer, how much time you spend there, and they can test accordingly.
Take a break every now and then
.rd documents, or something of the like. In doing so, you might forget to blink or rest your eyes from time to time. Eye doctors have a “20-20-20” rule that they encourage people prone to computer eye problems to follow. Once every 20 minutes, look away from your screen, at an object 20+ feet away, for at least 20 second. Doing this 20-20-20 exercise gives your eyes a moment to relax, and reduce fatigue.
If you wear glasses, or even if you don’t, consider introducing customized glasses into your daily uniform. Computer glasses can help to reduce or eliminate computer eye problems by reducing exposure to harmful blue light that radiates from digital devices. This is a feature that can be added onto your existing glasses, or you can get a specific pair that only have this function.
In short, computer eye problems are extremely common for people who work primarily from the computer. However, that’s not to say every computer worker is will end up with eye issues. But, you have to take the time and put the work in to avoid it. See your eye doctor, express concern, and keep record of how your eyes improve, or worsen over time.
Ride-sharing safety has been a hot topic in the media recently due to a number of incidents surrounding people getting into the wrong vehicles. In doing so, many people have ended up in harm’s way. Now, upon calling one of these services, you get a notice: check the license plate, check your driver, and be aware of every step along the way. While rider safety is absolutely a top concern— so is driver safety. We often focus in on the customer, while ride-share service drivers are just as much at risk of facing danger…
Ride-Share Service Drivers: Safety Measures
Be aware of pickup/drop off areas
Let’s face it: there are certain areas within every city that can are more likely to be dangerous. We don’t want to classify any rider, or resident, as a good or bad person. However, some areas merely present more of a risk. You might not want to put your riders into a box, but especially when driving late at night— consider the area you’ll be going into. Your rider might not be a problem, however, knowingly putting yourself at risk is ill-advised for ride-share service drivers — and riders too.
Consider a recording device
Depending on the state you’re in, there might be certain rules and regulations to using a camera inside of your car. However, in many areas, you merely have to tell the people in your car that they’re being recorded. Having this added feature is an insurance policy for you, and your vehicle. You might discourage riders from behaving badly, breaking the law, or doing something they might have considered before seeing that they’re under careful watch. This doesn’t have to be threatening— just a security measure.
Don’t take personal calls
Aside from security measures, also consider safety measures. Many people who have used a ride-sharing service have seen their driver take a personal call or answer a message before. You have a personal life, and people to communicate with. However, understand that you have a responsibility to keeping your riders safe. Keep your eyes on the road, and your hands on the wheel. Furthermore, make your riders change their destination within the app if they choose to do so. It’s an easy, quick change for them. However, it is another distraction if you have to do it yourself.
Take a break
Lastly, as ride-share service drivers, you have the unique opportunity to make your own hours. This is an undeniable benefit. However, many drivers will also put themselves in a compromising position by driving through the night. Uber and Lyft limit their drivers in terms of how long their shift can be. However, when and how you drive— is entirely up to you. Therefore, some drivers will choose to a 12 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. shift, or something similar. While this is likely a pretty profitable shift— it’s important that you take a moment here and there to stop for food, water, coffee, and a quick stretch. You want to avoid fatigue and keep your senses sharp for the long road ahead.
When you work in a warehouse, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of doing things. In time, you’ll likely have a routine that you could do in your sleep. Therefore, many people who work in warehouses will choose to wear headphones on the job. It’s understandable that you would want something to make the day a little less monotonous. However, while headphones provide the right amount of distraction, they also introduce a risk you might not have considered before.
Headphones and Warehouse Work: Understanding Common Risks
Concentration and alertness
One of the first and foremost risks of headphones in the workplace, are the attention they take away from your task at hand. Especially when using heavy equipment, fulfilling orders, manning a station, or moving heavy materials— you need to be present. There is the potential for missing something along the way when your ears aren’t in the game. Take, for example, if something falls from high up and is headed straight for you. In most cases, there will be someone close by who might yell ‘heads up’, ‘move!’, or ‘get out of the way!”. But, if you have headphones in— you might miss those warnings and end up with an injury as a result.
Becoming caught in machinery
Depending on what type of warehouse you’re working in, there might be equipment of some sort running at all times. Therefore, it is often ill-advised to have any sort of loose clothing, or cords, in the workplace. You never know when that loose cord of the headphones, which is connected to your body, might become caught in a machine and lead to your being pulled in that direction.
As an employer, it’s important to keep your protocol in check
Many warehouses ban headphones for these very reasons, however, when things are going well— it can be all too easy to not pay attention to potential dangers. Therefore, make it a monthly, or quarterly, task to perform random, routine safety checks. While you might have other responsibilities, keeping your employees safe should always be at the top of the list. So, check in, check cameras, and hold your employees accountable for making the right decisions.
There are many different positions in the workforce which might lead to your requiring the use of scaffolding. Maybe you work in construction, architecture, window cleaning, or even painting. Whatever the profession, it’s important that scaffolding safety be used every step of the way. From construction, to removal, and everything in between— there is a danger to this workplace necessity. However, there are plenty of ways that you can combat it.
Scaffolding Safety: Avoiding Unnecessary Injury
It starts with construction…
As with anything safety-related, there should be a seasoned professional in charge of constructing the scaffolding you’ll be using for any job. When scaffolding isn’t built correctly, it might not be stable enough to hold there necessary weight, and you run the risk of a dangerous, or even deadly, collapse. Hire someone qualified to do the work, and remember to do your own research.
While you want a qualified person in the driver’s seat— you should be prepared to ask a few questions: what footing will you use? Are the planks strong enough to support the necessary weight? And lastly, will there be the necessary support wires and ropes to support heavy loads attached to the scaffolding? While a seasoned professional will obviously have all of these supplies and questions at the ready— you never can be too sure.
Just as you want qualified professionals building the scaffolding, you also want professionals using them. Scaffolding is often a bit wobbly, regardless of sound construction. Furthermore, it can also be quite tight in terms of work space. Slip and fall injuries are a common risk associated with scaffolding, and that’s where safety comes in.
Avoid slipping hazards
Keep your scaffolding clear of obstructions and hazards, such as rain, ice, or slippery materials— such as paint. Furthermore, keep your tripping hazards in place, such as your tools. Work only under safe conditions. No high winds, no rain, and no distractions.
Lastly, make sure you’re using the proper safety equipment when working on the scaffolding. From non-slip shoes, to safety harnesses, hard hats, — safety is the number one priority in any and all work environments.
We mention it all the time, there are inherent risks in every profession. Furthermore, there are unique safety measures that need to be taken. However, today, we’re going to look at one profession in particular that comes with a unique set of risks… teaching. Teaching injuries can be brought on by a number of different circumstances. From unhealthy students, to slips and falls, a fight in the classroom, and even violent school invasions. In short, anything can happen. Therefore, you have to be prepared for what may come when you step into your classroom.
Teaching Injuries: Unexpected Classroom Accidents
Exposure to toxic materials
You might not think so, but a classroom can be quite the dangerous place. Take, for example, working in an old building. You know that your school building has been there since the ‘70s. Not to mention, you know that it has a certain smell. However, what you might not realize is that the strange smell is pointing to a bigger issue— mold. Toxic exposure in the classroom is not highly common. But, it can happen from time to time in a poorly maintained building. So, if you find yourself stationed in a classroom that has you worrying, ask an administrator to hire an inspector. Don’t add ‘treating teaching injuries’ to your long list of things to get accomplished.
Acts of violence
When you sign on to become a teacher, you have to acknowledge the inherent risk that comes along with it: acts of violence. According to the CDC, nearly 24% of students reported being in a physical fight on school property one or more times during a school year. Furthermore, the risk of school shootings is present now more than ever. Students getting into fights doesn’t always lead to teaching injuries. But, you are handling a dangerous task: breaking up the fight. Furthermore, school shootings are inherently rare— although we’ve seen more of them recently than in past years. However, if that time comes, you and your students are at risk of serious injury.
As a teacher, you have many roles to fall into on a daily basis. You are an educator, mentor, role model, babysitter, therapist, nurse, security guard, and a figurehead. You have to take on mental health in your students, make sure they have the resources they need, make sure they’re learning, and also watch for signs of abuse, hunger, neglect, and the like. In short, a teacher has the responsibility of 10-30 kids on a daily basis. You are a caretaker, and an educator. That is no small feat. Therefore, among all teaching injuries, work-induced stress is the most common one out there. You often face overcrowded classrooms, underfunded materials, a lack of support on part of administrators, and frustrated kids.
Teaching is not easy
In short, there’s nothing easy about being a teacher. From the beginning of your day, to the very end— you take on a number of different roles, all of which can be extremely stressful. Teaching injuries can be physical, mental, or emotional— and each one is quite difficult to face. We commend our educators, and encourage them to take a moment here and there for themselves.
Accidents are bound to happen in the workplace. However, if there is anything we can do as managers, business owners, or shift leaders— it is to reduce those incidents. Ultimately, accident prevention begins with workplace safety, and accountability. So, what can we do encourage these things amongst our employees?
Accountability in Workplace Safety: Avoiding Injuries
Start with proper training
The most important step in inspiring accountability in your employees, is to give them the tools to do so beforehand. When you bring on new hires, make sure they are receiving proper workplace safety training. Furthermore, use it as an opportunity to refresh your current employees on what it means to be safe.
Ask for their opinion
No one knows what’s happening on the floor better than the people who spend their day-to-day lives there. So, ask for their help in deciding what safety protocols are necessary, unnecessary, and also what might be missing in terms of safety protocol. When they have a hand in implementing changes, they will feel more accountability in terms of honoring them. Every employee needs to feel valued in order to value their work. So, use your employees point of view as a means of giving them that feeling, and also as a means of bettering the workplace. By doing so, you’ll improve your employee’s accountability.
Address poor performance in a non-aggressive way
Don’t call one person out for doing something wrong, as this can hinder accountability and alienate your employees. Chances are, if one person is using poor protocol— they aren’t the only one. Use these instances of poor performance as a means of addressing the whole group. Don’t call one person out for handling boxes poorly. Instead, host a meeting where you review what is going wrong— and urge your employees to self-correct. Start here, and move forward as necessary in terms of addressing the issue.
Incentivize proper protocol and milestones
Let’s face it: we care about our employees and want them to be healthy and safe. However, we can’t deny the appeal of meeting a safety milestone. 90 days accident-free means healthy employees, and fewer costly claims. So, every 90 days without an accident— consider hosting a breakfast, a happy hour, or letting everyone head home an hourly early for the day. There are small ways to encourage accountability in your employees, and giving them something to look forward to is a great way to do that.