The National Safety Council (NSC) and the Brigham Health Sleep Matters Initiative have collaborated on a new online tool that can help employers estimate the cost of workplace fatigue. According to the NSC, every tired employee can cost employers between $1,200 and $3,100 every year in expenses related to health care, absenteeism and lost productivity.
Tired employees not only work less effectively, but they can represent a safety hazard to themselves and those around them. Help ensure the health of your employees by following these tips:
• Let your employees know that they should talk to a manager about any fatigue concerns before exhaustion becomes a problem.
• Set up a flexible scheduling system that allows sleep-deprived employees to come in later or make up lost time when they’re well-rested.
• Encourage employees to take short walks to re-energize themselves. You can also consider creating a workplace wellness program to make sure employees get enough exercise.
• Promote good nutrition by making healthy snacks and water available to employees at all times.
A new study conducted by the Rand Corporation, Harvard Medical School and University of California, Los Angeles has found that most U.S. employees face at least one form of workplace stress on a regular basis. And, although the study also found that most employees receive support from their employers, workplace stress is common in every job and industry.
Here are some of the key findings from the study:
• Nearly 75 percent of employees report intense or repetitive physical exertion on the job.
• Over half of employees are exposed to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions.
• Nearly 20 percent of employees are exposed to hostile or threatening social environments at work.
• Nearly 50 percent of employees report that they must work on their own time to meet the demands of their jobs.
Physical and emotional stress in the workplace can lead to injuries, illnesses and poor job performance. Contact us today at (916) 380-5300 for employee communications and workplace programs that can help manage stress at your business.
Springtime allergies are an annual nuisance for many people. Mold growth increases due to rain and many plants begin releasing pollen. Likewise, spring-cleaning activities can stir up dust mites.
To reduce your allergies, be sure to take the following steps:
• Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
• Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
• Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit dust and chemical inhalation and skin exposure.
• Vacuum twice a week.
• Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
• Make sure the rugs you have are washable.
• Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.
A study recently published in the Journal of Finance suggests that companies facing money problems were more likely to experience workplace injuries, which, in turn, compounded those companies’ financial struggles.
Specifically, the study examined data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and found a number of correlations:
• The workplace injury rate increased when the company received a negative cash flow shock.
• The workplace injury rate decreased when the company received a positive cash flow shock.
• As workplace injuries increased, company value decreased substantially.
Experts suggest that OSHA officials might use this information as they conduct investigations—using a company’s financial condition as a possible indicator of an increased likelihood of workplace injuries.
And, given how costly workplace injuries are to companies—in terms of workers’ compensation costs, safety repairs and upgrades, and fines—companies should remain vigilant about workplace safety, even in the face of a negative cash flow shock.
A U.S. House of Representatives investigative panel plans to hold a 2016 hearing on skyrocketing drug costs. The panel is conducting an investigation into drug pricing and has reached out to drug companies to gather information.
One of the drug companies being investigated is Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. The panel is looking into allegations that the company has been involved in questionable billing practices, as well as examining the company’s relationship with the specialty pharmacy, Philidor Rx Services.
Valeant first disclosed its ties to Philidor late last month, amid concerns over the pharmacy’s tactics to get insurers to pay for Valeant medications. It has since severed ties with the pharmacy, saying it has lost confidence in Philidor after questions about its business practices.
Valeant is also facing investigations by prosecutors in New York and Massachusetts over its drug pricing and its programs that provide financial assistance to help patients cover out-of-pocket expenses for their medications.