Social media is opening up new avenues for delivering health and safety information. Employee health professionals can download training videos from YouTube, track occupational health news or research on a blog or Twitter, and even communicate with their own employees through social networking sites.
It may seem like a "no-brainer" to you, but it's not always enough to simply ask workers to make changes for better health. You may need to offer other incentives to get them to take action, says Margie Weiss, PhD, CEO and community health advocate at the Weiss Health Group, a Neenah, WI-based consulting company that works with companies and communities on health and wellness.
You may be pressured to return an injured employee to work as soon as possible by management, human resources, or supervisors. However, returning someone to work too soon can put the employee, the company, and yourself at risk, warns Mary D.C. Garison, RN, COHN-S, CCM, COHC, FAAOHN, an Angleton, TX-based occupational health nurse.
It is notoriously difficult to convince surgeons to change their methods and tools in the operating room to improve sharps safety. But in Tennessee, intransigence is apt to lead to a citation from the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Cindy Luebbering, RN, a senior health systems manager and occupational health nurse at the Cincinnati, OH-based Proctor & Gamble Company, says that her goal is to give employees information on how to get healthy, stay healthy, and how to live a full and healthy life if diagnosed with a health condition."
If an employee reports shoulder soreness, this could be caused by her job, sports activities she does on weekends, or both. "Risk factors and the mechanism of injury are often both unclear with repetitive strain injuries," says Susan Murphey, BS, CECD, president of Essential WorkWellness in Shoreline, WA.
You probably know, more than anybody else in the workplace, which workers have the greatest potential for positive health changes, says Dawn Stone, RN, a nurse practitioner and former occupational health nurse at Miller's Brewing Company, University of California Los Angeles' Occupational Health Facility and Northrop.
If you only count the musculoskeletal injuries reported in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, you may be left with insufficient evidence that a prevention program is justified.