Being in the workplace is good for a person’s health and wellbeing but a healthier workforce is more beneficial to the employer. By creating a healthier and safe environment for your employees, you will be able to increase their morale, improve their work-life balance and also improve their performance.
What are the main health issues in a car repair shop?
The job of a mechanic is hard and the environment is dirty, loud and also full of many dangers. A mechanic has to work under vehicles, use power tools and heavier machinery, remain on their feet the entire day and in addition, they have to strain their muscles and back. All mechanics face several occupational risks but their job involves more than just physical risks.
When thinking about auto repair shops, possibly you won’t think about any chemical and even thinking anything scientific about the work of a mechanic may be hard. Mechanics are usually exposed to many chemicals including heavy metals contained in brake fluids, lubricants, detergents, degreasers, paints, and solvents. These chemicals mostly lead to chronic poisoning.
One of these chemicals is asbestos which is contained in the drum brake system and the clutch systems. Asbestos dust (including a small amount) which comes from drum brakes processing and cleaning operation in auto repair shops is the primary cause of mesotheloima which is a type of cancer. A person who has inhaled this dust may take many years before observing the first signs of this cancer. Auto repair shop owners should prevent the effects of this dust by encouraging brake technicians and other mechanics to stick to the right procedures when repairing and replacing brakes.
Another problem that highly affects mechanics is the loud noise (above 90 decibels). This noise alongside carbon monoxide can cause severe hearing loss. The hearing loss resulting from the combination can be more severe or irreversible. The hearing loss may take several years to develop depending on the work environment. To reduce the effects of carbon monoxide which mainly originate from incomplete combustion in vehicle engines, you should provide adequate ventilation in the repair shop.
Eye injuries are also very common in the car repair shops since the work environment is always full of sparks launched from cutting torches and bench grinders. This is one of the workplace issues that are easier to prevent. Employers should provide their employees with goggles and side shields and also ensure that they are wearing them when at work.
Why you should encourage health in your workplace
Healthier mechanics will generally perform better in the workplace. A more recent study showed that employees who eat healthier diets are 25% more likely to perform better in their job compared with the others. The same survey also showed that the employees who exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes three days a week are 15% more likely to show better results in the workplace. Moreover, healthier employees will take lesser sick days. With a healthier workforce in your car repair shop, you should expect the absenteeism rate to reduce with 27%.
Overweight employees cost their employers around $73.1 billion per year in addition to filing twice the number of compensation claims the other workers file. A Quantum Workplace report showed hat employees who are offered some time off for recharging purposes are 14% more engaged and those provided with healthier food options are 10% more engaged. Those provided time for the healthier activities are usually 18% more engaged while those provided with flexible schedules are 18% more engaged. A healthier workforce reduces healthcare expenses and over 61% of all employers believe that employees health habits are a big challenging in controlling the healthcare costs.
How a healthier workforce helps prevent absence
One obvious benefit of having a healthier workforce is that the employees will be absent less often. A healthy worker will be motivated to remain in work, will recover from a sickness faster and are at a lower threat of long term illnesses. By promoting health in the car repair shop, you will reduce sickness absenteeism and make a substantial cost saving.
With the work age in most countries falling, recruiting and retaining employees is now becoming very important. By making a positive environment and promoting better health among your mechanics, you will be able to reduce recruitment costs and reduce employee turnover. There are many other benefits related to a healthy workforce. With a healthier workforce, you will reduce accidents related to the workplace.
What you should do as an employer to promote better health in the workplace
• Establishing a health committee
Before you start an ambitious endeavor of enhancing your employees’ wellness, you should select a team that will lead the charge. The committee will organize activities, research the local opportunities, send health tips on weekly basis and do much more to improve the health of other employees.
• Administering a survey to the employees
A better way of selecting a right program for your workers is to question them on what they need. Possibly, you will realize that your workers are willing to feel and look better but they lack the time, the necessary funds and access to the facilities they need.
• Provide your workers with fresh produce
There are some employers who provide their workers with fresh fruits possibly from the local farms. Doing the same for your employees may be a good idea. In fact, it is a better alternative to vending machines.
• Encourage weight loss in the workplace
By encouraging your workers to maintain an optimal weight, you will be able to reduce the chances of back injuries in the workplace. Back injuries can have effects on more than the physical health of workers. The risk of developing back injuries is higher in obese and overweight people. The injuries are usually sprained ligaments, muscle tear or even disc problems. Overweight or obese individuals have a poor posture and the excess weight adds more strain on their body discs and the muscles.
Medical weight loss helps people shed their extra pounds within a shorter period and assist them to keep the shed weight off. Mostly, the medical weight loss programs involve professional weight loss control, medications, exercise and suggested diet.
• Fight cold and flu in the workplace
Cold and flu are a major cause of workers absenteeism. Preventing these ailments is easier: you should use products that deflect germs such as hand sanitizers, disinfectants and tissues. Also keep the workplace clean all the time.