Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.

Anatomy of a Product: From an Idea to Reality

What does it take to turn an idea into a product? How can I realize financial gain from my idea? Where do I start? These and many other questions swirl around would-be inventors and entrepreneurs as they seek to bring new products and services to market. The process can seem daunting for anyone making a first attempt and confronting the typical hurdles and roadblocks the marketplace utilizes to cull the field.I look at hundreds of products each year and have done so for almost 30 years. The ideas that succeed invariably consist of the same basic elements.One, an entrepreneur with passion, a realistic view of the opportunity they have created and a flexible attitude to the inevitable critique and changes the original concept will undergo. The world is full of dreamers. Successful entrepreneurs work non-stop in pursuit of their well-designed goals.Two, a new product or service concept that fills an identifiable market niche. The niche can be a completely new product category (think Windows, XM Radio, E-Bay) or a small piece of a vast, mature market segment (Sam Adams Beer, Coach, George Foreman Grille). The Unique Selling Proposition is the element that enables the product to be positioned as an advance, offering different, improved features and benefits. The world doesn’t need another mousetrap, unless, you can prove a method to catch more mice.Three, before running off to a Patent Attorney, display or discuss the opportunity with family, friend’s, co-workers you trust. Would they buy if available? How much would they pay? What don’t they like about the widget? Any improvements they might suggest? This is a form of micro-test market. Also, search the inter-net, United States Patent and Trademark Office, visit stores and diligently study the competition. If you feel confident that the market is not offering anything like your concept then you potentially have a significant commercial opportunity and should seek copyright, patent and trademark advice.There are many ways to proceed. You can attempt to self-market your idea. There are numerous reputable consulting firms that can offer comprehensive services. Many colleges and state and local governments offer small business incubators and can be an excellent resource. A caution, though. The late night infomercial selling patent services that will make you rich is always a fraud. Ask for references and products currently on the market as proof that you are dealing with professionals, not charlatans.The hardest question for many inventors to confront: How to harvest financial benefits from their invention? Licensing, self-marketing the product, funding, partnership, strategic alliance or outright sale of the opportunity are among the options to be considered. Typically, the inventors background, experience, interest and financial realities make the choice more obvious. It is usually good to have professional guidance when weighing appropriate strategies for harvesting income from a project.A working model or a production quality prototype of the piece will be essential in researching manufacturing, costing production and for presentations. Do not cut corners here. Be as professional and thorough as possible in displaying the unique performance benefits and features of the product. You only get one chance to make a strong first impression.A customized Business Plan or Offering Document will be crucial in successfully presenting the product for consideration. Decision-makers typically see many, many products each year. You need to stand out and that requires an exciting plan. Do not buy a Business Plan template off of the inter-net and fill in the blanks. It will not be read. Make the document as exciting as your product.The steps reviewed above typically result in a thinning of the new product herd. In order to successfully place a service or product in this very aggressive, cluttered marketplace no shortcuts are tolerated. Inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses are an amazing breed and a valued national asset. The wealth created and generated by this group of idea pioneers is the American economic difference maker. There has never been a greater time or place to launch that needed new product, and the rewards have never been greater.

The Importance of Workplace Safety Posters

Workplace safety posters play an important role in effective safety communications, safety precautions and safety warnings to workers. It is one kind of safety communication. Their applications in chemical industries are very common where various potential hazards present.

Safety regulations and legal require the use of workplace safety posters. Generally, these posters have to be placed in workplaces where hazards exist. They warn workers about specific hazards that accompany their jobs and naturally appear in such workplaces.

Government or Department of Labor in each country has may already established the required workplace safety posters. And in some cases, the government has prepared these printed posters that can be used directly.

When the safety regulation requires such posters application, there will be certain penalties or fines for violations. In general, the employers will be fined when workers get injured due to lack of safety posters as required by the regulations.

Some employers may think that these posters for workplace are only devoted for the workers or employees. But, actually they are wrong. These posters are purposed to protect both workers and employers.

Employers would not responsible for any incident happen in the workplace if they have applied the required posters. As an example is the usage of eye goggle. When the employers have displayed the poster of eye goggle according to the regulation, then when worker or employee gets injured by chemical splash without using eye goggle, the employer does not responsible. The reverse condition is also applied.

However, before displaying any safety posters in the workplaces, always bear in mind that these posters should be relevant, clear and to the point. Use only common words and communicative images or pictures to get workers’ attention.