The working class is an imperative cog in the economic engine of our country. From building roads and skyscrapers to working the shipping assembly lines, there’s an incredible sense of accomplishment that comes from keeping industry moving in these roles. Many times, there’s also a long-term toll on the worker’s body.
It’s easy to equate physical labor with overall fitness, but it’s also misleading. While it’s certainly impressive to see a construction worker lift 50 pounds like a pillow, for the laborer who uses incorrect form may cause an injury and miss work, or experience health effects down the road. We constantly read about the health dangers of sitting at desk jobs all day, but even workers whose job requires heavy lifting can take measures to treat their bodies better.
And managers in the blue-collar workforce are listening. By encouraging healthy behaviors amongst your workforce you can help drive productivity on the job site, reduce injury time, and help your workers lead long, healthy lives.
Education and Exercise
Awareness is the key to unlock a healthy life. Too often, the manual laborer is caught in the smug satisfaction that daily on-the-job grind exempts them from exercising any further. As a manager, you should try to educate your blue-collared employees about the importance of following an exercise regimen and benefits of different forms of exercises, including yoga, Pilates, and deep breathing. Boots On is a yoga program designed specifically for construction workers in San Francisco. Reduced job stress, healthy body, and coaching on avoiding work-related injuries will be a long-term gain for both your company and your workers.
Tired workers require more carbohydrates to keep themselves alert and active and are, thus, prone to binge on unhealthy, fat-saturated fast food, the leading cause of obesity. Instead, they should be adding large portions of fruits and vegetables to their meals and cut down on empty calories. For workers who have a short lunch break, fast food is often the quickest option; consider using a business prepaid card to subsidize healthy lunches at pre-selected lunch shops. Furthermore, you can make water dispensers and bottled-water available at the working site to motivate workers to cut down on soda and coffee; water provides the most hydration whereas caffeine acts as a diuretic.
Smoking and Alcohol
To reduce long-term effects of smoking and abundant drinking on health, you can provide access to smoking and alcohol cessation programs run by external organizations or by initiating an on-site program. The workers can be counseled into ways of gradual abstinence, alternatives, and how community support can be garnered to stay on track.
Another crucial area you must address promptly, but is often considered taboo, is the practice of personal hygiene; many physical conditions and health problems can be successfully avoided by practicing cleanliness. On top of the list is thorough hand cleaning, especially after using restrooms, before eating or drinking, or during excessive touching of surfaces, such as door knobs, public computers, or handles.
A construction worker might get caught in a tangle of wires and may end up fatally injured. A factory worker is at a health risk for inhaling chemicals and fumes. You can avoid these and many other potentially hazardous situations by making workers wear protective gear. A breathing mask filters out fumes and lets in oxygen, maintaining respiratory health. Special working boots with steel toes act as heat and shock resistors.
Why Should I Invest into Workers’ Health?
Looking after the well-being of your employees can translate into immediate benefits for your company; reduced amount of health-related absence enhances the productivity. If the bottom line of the working hierarchy remains intact, meeting goals becomes feasible, and the whole machinery becomes more cohesive, producing better results and greater ROI!