Statistically speaking, tech workers have significantly fewer chances of being victims of workplace accidents or occupational illness. Apparently, the workers in the tech industry have by 40% fewer chances of being victims of occupational injuries and illnesses. Many still ask themselves how it is possible for those workers that develop software systems to still be subjects of such injuries. On the other hand, we have to think of the fact that offering your workers a healthy and safe work environment is a duty each company has, regardless of the sector in which it activates. While many enterprises see workplace safety as a perk of their activity, this is rather a legal obligation. Below are some of the reasons why companies in the tech sector should care more about their employees’ workplace safety.
Tech Employees are Still Vulnerable to Workplace Injury
When thinking about tech employees, we don’t associate their job description with a high incidence of workplace accidents or other health vulnerabilities. In fact, these employees do have some types of injuries that are commonly found in the sector.
• Occupational musculoskeletal disorders;
• Transportation-related accidents and injuries.
The service and tech sector seem to be mostly influenced by musculoskeletal disorders, and the symptoms are not to be ignored. From muscle pains and aches, to joint affections, tendons, nerves and blood vessel disorders, these can impact the IT worker’s life in the long run, leading to a series of chronical pains and affections. Companies that activate in the tech industry have to take visible measures to prevent such disorders in their employees and protect their health and well-being. While these are non-fatal workplace injuries, that occur in linger time intervals, CEOs have to understand that their worker’s work stations have to be adapted to decrease the incidence of soft tissue and nerve disorders. Repetitive stress on these tissues and systems of the worker’s bodies, while not impactful at the very beginning, can lead to serious health conditions in the long run.
Slips, trips and falls are also associated with the IT industry, as the employee’s work is mainly concentrated around devices with plenty of cords and cables. Slippery floors are also present in enterprises all over the world, due to cleaning, traffic and outdoor weather conditions. While the work itself doesn’t expose the IT worker to direct accidents, they should be trained in workplace safety matters, nonetheless, but also receive proper assistance when necessary.
Transportation-related injuries are present in all industries and sectors, and the IT worker doesn’t get rid of this prospect, either. Cycling to work is a common practice among these workers, but even those that drive to work don’t minimize their chances of being involved in unfortunate accidents. Companies can take palpable steps towards keeping their tech workers safe by creating a well-structured workplace safety policy, easy to access and consult whenever necessary, the experts at PIAB Injuries Board claim. While transportation-related injuries are incredibly common across all sectors, it’s concerning the small amount of attention these incidents receive in the tech industry.
According to the National Bureau of Labour Statistics, each tech employee will miss, on average, 12 work days, yearly, due to workplace injury or illness.
Steps to a Safer Workplace in the Tech Sector
CEOs in the tech industry already have some initiatives when it comes to workplace safety. Many enterprises offer their employees wellness programs subscriptions, gym subscriptions and generous health insurance packages. This makes it possible for the tech employee to have a better approach to their health and workplace-related illnesses. However, visible steps should be proposed to avoid workplace injuries such as slips, falls and trips. A downloadable should be put together for every employee to have on their stationary. It should include every aspect of every workplace-related injury described above, from transportation-related injuries to details on musculoskeletal disorders, headaches, ophthalmic disorders and conditions, oftentimes associated with this type of jobs; also, more information on how to prevent obesity associated with a sedentary lifestyle – characteristic to the tech employee – should be included. Action guidelines in case of a natural disaster or mass-violence inside the company should be created.
Train your employees in safety-related matters. While written policies are a good foundation of any workplace safety program, they also have to know how to promptly react and behave when emergencies occur. Besides the common topics that have to be covered (slips, trips, falls), there are two big interest areas that have to be explained in detail: Fire Extinguisher Safety and Emergency Preparedness. In case the situation demands, everybody in the office building has to know how to properly operate a fire extinguisher. Some relevant training topics that have to be included are, as described below.
• Driver safety and distracted driving matters;
• Slips, trips and falls;
• Emergency response;
• Fire extinguisher operation;
• Violence in the workplace;
• Electrical safety.
Besides, many companies in the tech sector allow their workers to work from their home offices. In this case, making an assessment of the safety of the working place, is difficult. However, companies should always emphasize some mandatory safety measures, which the employee has to follow. Home office safety audits should always be hired by the employer to assess the safety levels in each work dedicated area in each employee’s working from home case.
The Tech Industry is Highly Competitive in Regards of Employee Healthcare Benefits
As the nature of tech employee’s work is not frequently associated with fatal injuries, the repetitive stress under which these worker’s bodies is, makes them more prone to develop certain conditions. To make these positions more appealing for talented and skilled workers, the tech industry usually offers generous paid family leave, health insurance policies, wellness programs and generous wages, which for today’s worker, millennial worker, more exactly, matter enormously.
Safety measures have to be taken by all companies, and minimal training is mandatory for each company, at least when it comes to safety protocols, guidelines and measures. While companies in the tech industry usually ignore such matters, these can be associated with severe legal matters, if the circumstances allow.