Occupational Diseases: How Employers Can Keep Employees Healthy

Sick days. It’s something that all of us have taken at one time or another. Still, it’s pretty amazing that this past January had a record high of 7.8 million full-time workers who decided to take one of their own sick days.

Whether or not someone is actually sick whenever they call out from work is kind of based on the honor system. But there are things you can do to decrease the chances of occupational diseases being the cause of why your employees are under the weather. Let’s look at a few of them.

What Are Occupational Diseases?

Before getting into things that you can do to decrease the chances of your employees getting an occupational disease, it’s important to know what those actually are. It’s any type of illness or condition that comes from either attending a work-related event or being exposed to something hazardous or challenging while at work.

Some examples of occupational diseases include:

  • Respiratory illness
  • Dermatitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hearing loss
  • Mental health issues
  • Allergies
  • Poisoning
  • Elevated stress
  • Infectious diseases
  • Cancer

As you can see from the list, some occupational diseases are somewhat inconvenient while others are potentially life-threatening. And while it’s difficult to address all of the things that a company can do to make their employees less vulnerable to these, here are a few preventative measures that can be taken.

Open Up Some Windows

Did you know that we spend 90 percent of the time inside? This is why indoor pollution is two to five times higher than outdoor pollution. Something that can help to decrease the chances of respiratory illness, allergies, and the spread of disease is to open up the windows of your office. That helps fresh air circulate throughout the building.

Insist on Work Breaks

It’s pretty standard for companies to offer two 15-minute breaks and a 30-60 minute lunch break. However, these are only effective if your employees do things like take a walk, meditate or listen to some of their favorite music during these breaks.

The point here is breaks can help to decrease stress levels when there is absolutely no work involved. It can also give your employees’ wrists a break from their keyboards, which can reduce carpal tunnel syndrome.

Have “Wellness Packs” on Tap

Another thoughtful thing that you can do to cultivate a healthy workplace is to give your employees wellness packs.

Plants can reduce indoor pollution. Herbal teas instead of coffee in the breakroom can reduce dermatitis-related symptoms. Disposable masks can help to prevent the spread of germs.

You can also turn on the air conditioner to reduce the spread of allergens. Also, provide headphones so that your employees can enjoy soothing music (to reduce stress levels) as they work.

Reduce the Dust

A dusty workplace can definitely lead to illness. That’s because dust particles are able to cause respiratory issues including coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. By cleaning off desks and counters at the end of every workday, mopping tile floors, and vacuuming the carpet, you help to keep dust from collecting on surfaces where your employees work.

This page is a cleaning service in Tampa that can help if your company is in that area.

Create a Wellness Plan

Being proactive is always better than being reactive. That’s why it can also benefit your employees if you put together a wellness plan. Getting a select group of your employees together to discuss ways to improve the physical, mental, and emotional health of your work environment can help to reduce occupational diseases on a myriad of levels.

Less sick people means fewer sick days which means more productivity. It can also make your employees happier overall.

Always Remember That There Are Things You Can Do to Avoid Occupational Diseases

As you see, there are several things that you can do to create a healthy workplace and avoid occupational diseases. To learn more about this and other interesting topics, visit the “Health” section of our site.


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