Having trouble getting your injury prevention activities to stick? Time and again, we hear how internal attempts at injury prevention programs go by the wayside. With a little bit of effort and the involvement of a qualified therapist, these programs could reap huge benefits for your company’s bottom line and employee morale. In our experience, these five tips are the secrets to success for keeping corporate injury prevention programs rolling.
Employees must have confidence that the educator is for them and not against them. Too many companies try to save money by assigning an in-house educator. I highly recommend contracting this out and bringing in a qualified physical or occupational therapist that specializes in injury prevention. An outside expert is viewed as more credible and trustworthy due to their unbiased status. They also offer a fresh set of eyes to help identify potential barriers and issues with injury prevention.
Employees need to be equipped with the knowledge and tools for preventing injury and applying sustainable, realistic self-care techniques. For optimal effectiveness, injury awareness training must use a hands-on teaching method that gets employees up and moving. It also helps for the expert to watch employees work and provide customized feedback to improve their awareness to injury prevention in their specific work environment.
Practice can make or break the success of the program. Employees need time and practice to master the new program being implemented. This requires weekly/monthly visits from the contracted therapist that has gained the "trust" of the employees. When you give people time to absorb and practice what they’ve learned and then follow through with them, they will feel confident and call the program a success.
You have to celebrate employee successes! Develop a simple, cost-effective reward program. For example, supervisors can hand out $5 gift cards or safety dollars when they see someone stretching or using proper body mechanics.
Why stop here? As employees show understanding and accountability, schedule monthly then quarterly check-ins to discuss various topics from back strain to ways of coping with stress. Hold workshops over lunch breaks, and conduct simple pre-shift check-ins. Develop options to set up on-site injury prevention sessions with the therapist.
To learn more about developing a corporate injury prevention program for your unique employee base, please contact us. We’d be happy to help your company create a long-term program that is successful and attainable.