5 Steps to Reduce Repetitive Motion Injuries in Parcel Delivery
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Repetitive Motion injuries (RMIs) are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers’ compensation.
RMIs are temporary or permanent injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons caused by doing the same motion over and over again. RMIs can occur when a job requires someone to lift heavy objects, bend lower than the waist or turn their head frequently. RMIs are painful, costly to treat and oftentimes permanent. Permanent injuries put a damper on an individual’s ability to perform the jobs in which they’ve been trained, creating an additional stressor of finding work in a new field.
In the parcel delivery world, RMIs occur frequently due to repetitive manual labor requirements like loading and unloading vehicles and long stretches of driving on a daily basis. Even if safety best practices have been discussed with drivers, when taking into account 200+ stops during a single shift, there’s ample time for a lapse in judgement that could lead to injury. RMIs can impact both employee morale and the bottom line.
The good news is that with the right work practices and controls, you can significantly reduce workplace hazards that contribute to RMIs.
Where do you start?
- Create a formalized injury illness prevention plan
- Utilize performance-based rewards
- Train drivers to recognize the risks they face each day and ways to avoid them
- Institute a return to work program
- Use technology to grab data, including an assessment of driver risk levels, telematics, claims costs, etc.
Those are a few short-term solutions to curbing RMIs. For greater ROI and a lower cost of risk, it’s vitally important to create a safety culture within your organization and get your employees to buy into it.
For more information on RMIs and creating a culture of safety for your parcel delivery company, contact a member of our ‘A’ Team.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR