The last two years have seen major shifts in the world of workplace safety and wellness, with employers taking advantage of more holistic approaches that combine traditional ergonomics and pain-relief therapies with innovative strategies for tackling injury rates and, now more than ever, mental health challenges.
In the latest episode of the DORN Injury Prevention Academy Podcast, we talked with Nick Magana, independent safety consultant and Ergonomic Project Manager at Southern California Edison (SCE). Nick holds MS and BS degrees in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton, and he’s an FMS-certified strength and conditioning coach with considerable experience helping workforces adapt to physical challenges.
Catch the podcast here: https://youtu.be/yNf-CDslHN8
Mental Health in Today’s Workforce
The question of mental health has become more prominent in recent years as stress levels have increased and the nature of work shifts. With the Great Resignation in full swing, employees across industries are departing jobs, putting considerable strain on employers seeking to limit turnover and keep their talent on board. With one in every five US adults reporting a mental illness each year, it’s clear that this problem will not solve itself. That’s why employers are increasingly turning to investment in mental health solutions, specifically holistic wellness solutions that aim to improve mental health among employees by addressing all facets of the worker’s experience.
Mental health issues are closely linked with fatigue, chronic pain, and stress, and common challenges like depression and anxiety have the ability to derail operations and keep employees from doing their jobs effectively. More and more employers are developing programs to combat these issues, deploying new technologies designed to mitigate the risks of mental health problems. Telehealth counseling, smartphone apps, meditation aids, and mindfulness programs have all proven effective at helping employees manage stress and stay engaged with their work.
How Wearable Devices Improve Safety Standards
Technology offers a range of strategies for curing injury rates and combating chronic pain among workers. Across industries, employers are turning to wearable devices that can help them establish a more integrative model of safety and wellness.
Wrist-mounted fatigue monitors and work suits embedded with exertion sensors can provide EHS leaders with a wealth of data that can be used to make informed improvements to the safety ecosystem. By using technology to better understand how employees do their tasks, managers can use evidence-based tactics for reducing fatigue and improving injury rates.
Safety for an Aging Workforce
As employers and their workers deal with mounting stress levels, turnover, fatigue, and mental health challenges, safety leaders are also thinking about the aging of the workforce as more Baby Boomers stay at their jobs later into life. With economic pressures keeping workers from retiring, the workforce as a whole is growing older, bringing an array of safety risk factors unique to long-tenured workers. This wave of aging has the potential to impose billions of dollars in additional safety and overhead costs for employers, making it critical for EHS leaders to adapt their safety programming now.
About the Podcast
In this episode of the DORN Injury Prevention Academy Podcast, we chat with Nick Magana about his career in the world of safety and his perspective on the evolving challenges of the field. We cover:
- Major EHS trends for 2022 and beyond, including the focus on mental health
- How key ergonomics and biomechanics integrations can power up your safety strategy and improve workers’ physical wellness
- How employers can tackle the evolving risks that come with an aging workforce population
Watch the episode on YouTube and make sure to subscribe to the DORN Companies channel!