In today’s society, many Americans find themselves pushing their limits to meet the demands of work and daily life. This may lead to overexertion, a common, yet preventable, cause of workplace injuries and missed work days across the nation.
Understanding the risks associated with overexertion is important for both employers and employees to promote safer work environments and reduce the incidence of injuries.
How overexertion happens
Overexertion occurs when workers strain themselves beyond their physical capabilities. It often leads to muscle strains, sprains and other musculoskeletal injuries. Tasks that require repetitive motions, heavy lifting or prolonged physical exertion are common culprits. These injuries can occur in various settings, from construction sites and warehouses to offices and retail environments.
How overexertion impacts productivity
Overexertion poses risks to individual health and safety. It also takes a toll on workplace productivity. When employees experience overexertion, they may have to take time off work for recovery. This can decrease productivity and increase costs for employers. Additionally, overexertion-related injuries can contribute to long-term health issues. This can further impact an individual’s ability to perform his or her job.
How to prevent overexertion
To reduce the incidence of overexertion injuries, employers can implement various preventive measures. Providing proper training on ergonomic techniques and lifting procedures can help employees perform tasks more safely. Employers should also encourage regular breaks. Promoting a culture of open communication regarding workplace safety concerns and investing in ergonomic equipment can also help.
The National Safety Council reports that overexertion injuries were the leading cause of missed work days in the United States in 2021 and 2022, with 1,001,440 employees missing work due to overexertion. Prioritizing workplace safety benefits individual workers, and it also contributes to the overall success and well-being of businesses and communities.