There are many obstacles and barriers which commonly impede progress when it comes to preventing MSD injuries. Following are some common ones:
- Barrier 1: One of the biggest barriers which individuals and businesses face is the fact that our society is focused on treatment, not on prevention. There are considerable profits to be made in treatment, not generally with prevention. Doctors, surgeons, therapists, and pharmaceutical companies rely heavily on a steady flow of patients (even inventing new ones with new remedies and new operations). As a result, most people (as well as a majority of leaders), don’t “see” prevention and have a hard time placing a value on it. Also, people in general don’t feel as if they are able to do anything to prevent an injury from occurring.
- Barrier 2: When this question is asked of a safety leader, “when was your last recordable injury?” all too often the response varies from knocking on wood, to throwing salt over one’s shoulder. In some organizations, assigning blame (no matter how much or how little) drives MSD prevention even deeper into obscurity. These responses say volumes about how injuries are perceived. This may not represent you or your company; however many leaders and supervisors (and most of all the employees), do not want to talk about pain and injuries, lest one might just happen. This is the quintessential “out of sight, out of mind” scenario. We have worked with more than one company, whom after spending copious amounts of money on “big box” behavioral safety solutions, were amazed to find that in actuality, many employees were less likely to report an injury instead of more likely. Our training solutions put an end to these obstructive mindsets.
- Barrier 3: Throughout the past and even in many organizations today, when it comes to injury prevention, lagging indicators are still the criteria generally used to initiate action. Regulations now require that a company must take action after two similar injuries occur in any given time period or in any one department. If so, OSHA may come knocking on your company door and require that steps are taken immediately. In either case, once an injury (or series of injuries) has occurred, awareness increases exponentially but usually for only a brief period of time. It is easy to see that action is necessary immediately, then typically things settle back down and the next awareness to action gap will again increase, until there is a new recordable injury or major incident, and the cycle begins again. These scenarios make it increasingly difficult for a company, (or its leaders) to see the value in prevention, absent visible injuries. Leaders tend to focus on what they can see, such as production and maintenance. We help to create a consistent level of awareness at all times, whether injuries are occurring or not!
- Barrier 4: In many organizations it is difficult to keep an MSD or safety initiative alive and on track, often this is due to changing personnel. Many safety programs have taken a wrong turn or even ceased to exist because of a change in a leadership position. A change in executive leadership has been known to cause an entire initiative to derail, as will a simple change in supervisory roles. We see this often, have you experienced this in your own company? Our process is designed to prevent this phenomenon; your new program is able to withstand these types of changes and continue to thrive.
At Accurate Ergonomics, we fully understand that organizations must invest wisely and in safety solutions that: work effectively, are sustainable, and will provide a healthy return on their investment. We also know that in order to achieve all of these goals and to stay ahead of MSDs, leaders must acknowledge that barriers do exist and must be overcome. This is a specialty that (in our experience), is best served by an MSD expert, not a generalist.
Want to overcome barriers in your company, once and for all? Accurate Ergonomics stands ready to help. We are industry leading MSD prevention specialists, who know that it takes a coordinated plan to achieve sustainable results. Our experts are trained to identify and break through barriers, a process which at best is difficult or even impossible to achieve internally. We know how to get to the bottom of your MSD challenges and how to orchestrate their elimination. It’s just that simple!
Call now to talk with an Accurate Ergonomics expert: 866-950-ERGO (3746), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.