It is fair to say that no worker wants to be injured while working. Likewise, most employers want to keep their workers safe as well. Workers who are injured or become ill while working at Pittsburgh area businesses often seek workers' compensation benefits while they recover. This can be expensive for the employer who must carry a workers' compensation insurance policy. In an effort to keep those expenses to a minimum, some workplaces have adopted programs to keep their workers safe.
One employer located in another state, the Mall of America, requires its workers to participate in stretching exercises to try to prevent workplace injuries. Each person participates in 10 to 15 minutes of the group exercise in a hallway before the start of their shift. All of those employed at the largest mall in the United States participate. This is true whether they have an office job or operate rides at the indoor amusement park. The stretching is designed to help with the flexibility and range of motion of the workers.
Other types of employers, such as construction companies have similar programs. One such company has its workers stretch twice a day. Those exercises, in the morning as well as after lunch, have paid off. According to the safety directory for the construction company, since adopting the strategy, the company has seen a reduction in soft tissue injuries.
Not all believe that this type of stretching is worthwhile. Studies recently reported indicate that engaging in such behavior prior to physical activity doesn’t actually have a positive impact in injury prevention. Whether the trend will continue remains to be seen. In the meantime, workers’ compensation claims will likely continue to be filed.
Source: Star Tribune, “Workplace stretching programs expand,” Allie Shah, Sept. 4, 2013