This article was previously seen in Occupational Health & Safety
Transitioning from relaxed summer days to the longer, weather-prone days of fall can be challenging for an unprepared workforce. For many industries, the changing leaves and cool air marks the beginning of peak season for profit. From a business perspective, this calls for increased hiring, longer hours, and increased customer activity. But the most notable change is directly related to the much shorter length of day. According to a study located in the National Center for Biotechnology Information the length of day has proven biological effects on energy levels. The combination of seasonal fatigue and increased holiday demand presents a higher risk of workplace injuries.
Early preparation is key for sustaining optimal company efficiency during this time. The decisions made in this season will greatly impact the productivity of the much harsher months ahead.
Below are a few seasonal safety tips for a successful fall all companies can follow.
According to Retail Dive, major retailers and logistics providers are adding hundreds of thousands of temporary workers this holiday season. Every seven seconds a worker is injured on the job, and temporary workers are at the highest risk of injury. Because the U.S. unemployment rate remains at an all-time low, it’s critical that you invest in the safety of these workers so you can keep them productive and on the job. Building a strong and engaged safety culture will get them off to a safe start, protecting new employees from injury while retaining your permanent workforce.
Regardless of the season, companies that empower their workforces through safety education will have healthier and more productive workforces, giving them a competitive edge. The spike in e-commerce activity from holiday shopping will test the efficiency of every fleet worker.
As stated earlier, fall fatigue is a real phenomenon, and the changing climate will be an issue for employees that are not situationally aware. Teach drivers and frontline associates to be aware of how they move through their environments.
The best way to keep a team strong and operating at optimal efficiency is to implement a flexible safety program that can be accessed from anywhere at the convenience of the worker. Keep the coursework short and digestible, as studies have shown that after a certain amount of time people lose their ability to retain information. By leveraging micro-learning, workers can build safe habits in small increments over time, increasing efficiency and productivity while reducing costs.
Fall injuries have a way of seeping into the workplace by way of wet boots, seasonal fatigue, and increased workload. Thankfully, with a little preparation and proper safety training, companies can easily move with the season instead of having to move against it.