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SUPPORT EMPLOYEES WHO STAND AT WORK

SUPPORT EMPLOYEES WHO STAND AT WORK

Meta DescriptionThis post gives a podiatrist's view on why employees who stand at work experience foot pain. It also reveals strategies for lower foot-injury incidents. 

Support Employees Who Stand at Work

As a podiatrist for 20 years, I've diagnosed thousands of painful foot conditions. The majority of my patients have told me that they first experienced foot problems while they were at work. I always tell employers that when an employee has a work-related foot injury, their business will feel pain in other ways. Here is what I've learned.

Employees Who Suffer Work-Related Foot Injuries Cost Businesses More Than They Initially Think

According to the (Bureau of Labor Statistics), there were more than 50,000 non-fatal foot injury cases in 2015. During that time, employees spent an average of 10 days away from work recuperating. That equates to lost productivity and lost profits for businesses.

My medical practice is my life's calling. My goal, however, is for every patient to avoid the suffering of a long recovery after surgical foot procedures.

Unfortunately, preventing debilitating foot conditions for employees when they stand for a majority of their workday may be a pipe dream. That is unless employers support their workers in the quest for maintaining healthy feet for life.

Industries and Foot Injuries

Workers who stand for long periods usually work in fields such as:

  • Delivery
  • Foodservice
  • Hospitality
  • Industrial

Foot Pain is Often the First Indication of a Foot Problem That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Along with general work fatigue, they may experience foot fatigue, leg fatigue, flat feet, and other mishaps while standing all the time at work.

Plantar Fasciitis is another common foot ailment. The symptoms include aching pain or tender pain in the arch or bottom of the heel. When walking, the discomfort comes and goes. Therefore, this affects their job performance when a painful episode suddenly occurs.

The Best Way Employers Can Support Their Workers and Lower Foot Injury Incidents

My patients tell me that although they stand for long durations, they would rather not sit all day. They just want to have healthy, pain-free feet.

I believe businesses can support their employees by following these easy steps.

  1. Remind Employees to Take Care of Their Feet

The American Heart Association recommends that everyone should take care of their feet to prevent heart issues.

Keep oxygen in the body's circulatory system flowing correctly by:

  • Wearing shoe inserts because they provide relief for many types of foot conditions
  • Buying shoes that fit with your orthotics
  • Washing feet daily to prevent odor
  • Wearing clean socks made of an acrylic-blend to counter moisture
  1. Ask Employees to Exercise Their Feet Regularly

Michigan Medicine of The University of Michigan suggests exercising the feet to relieve pain.

  • Before standing in the morning or while on breaks, bend your foot up and down.
  • Stretch your toes by putting a towel around the back of your toes. Keep your knee straight, and with the towel end in each hand, pull the towel toward you. Hold for 15 seconds, three times each foot.
  • Perform toe-stretching exercises by flexing the toes.

I'd like to add another helpful tip:

  • Bring another pair of shoes to change into midway through your workday.
  1. Provide Customizable Arch Support Insoles

Every reputable medical journal I've read mentions orthotics as a proven remedy for foot ailments. As stated earlier, you can suggest employees try arch support inserts, but if you provide the inserts for them, that is even better! I can only recommend what works for me and my patients and that happens to be orthotic insoles.

I wear shoe inserts daily inside and outside of my medical practice. The only product I trust is SelectFlex Arch Control Insoles SelectFlex Arch Control Insoles.

The award-winning insoles relieve pain for several different conditions including:

  • Achy feet
  • Arch pain
  • Arthritis foot
  • Back pain
  • Diabetic foot
  • Flat feet
  • Heel pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Neuroma (pinched nerve/benign tumor)
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage that causes weakness/numbness in feet

Over the past few months, several of my patients have begun wearing inserts with their shoes. Soon after they put them on for the first time, they tell me they will never be without them. They also wonder why no one told them about the product sooner.

I suggest businesses stock up on orthotic insoles. I believe that is the best way to support employees who frequently stand while they work. When you invest in your team, you safeguard your greatest asset. Learn more about customizeable arch supports and you'll understand what I mean. Text 844-600-0082 or call (844) 570-1862 today.

 

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HEALTHY FEET + HAPPY WORKERS = HEALTHY BUSINESS

HEALTHY FEET + HAPPY WORKERS = HEALTHY BUSINESS

Understanding The Work Environment

Workers who walk or stand for long periods of time during their workday, without proper foot support and shock absorption, are susceptible to pain and harmful musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that can have lasting effects on the body. Just as steel-toe footwear is often required as personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers, insoles are essential for preventing pain and fatigue.

If workers spend hours on their feet, there is an increased risk for inflammation and excess muscle fatigue that could be avoided with proper foot support and insole comfort. Aches and pains in the body associated with foot issues can also impact workers knees and back. Understandably, this can result in reduced employee work productivity, lower morale and increased absenteeism. Thankfully, solutions exist today that can reduce the negative impact of the environment on employees’ feet.

Healthy Feet Start With Smart Corporate Decision Making

In order to address foot and lower extremity issues within their workforce, companies are predominantly choosing between insoles and floor matting. Personal insoles offer numerous advantages over floor mats (Occupational Health & Safety). These benefits include:

  • Portability: Insoles can be implemented instantly without training and go wherever the worker goes. This makes them an ideal solution for both stationary and mobile workers who work both indoors and outdoors. Additionally, when a worker walks away from their workstation, the comfort stays with them. This option also protects employees who walk to and from work, ensuring they arrive and leave without strained or sore feet.
  • Personalize Comfort: Employees can select the type of insole that best matches their needs, allowing for personalized comfort for workers based on their foot size and arch type.
  • Direct Contact with the Body: As insoles are placed inside the footwear, they have 100 percent surface contact with the feet and body, 100 percent of the time, providing a reliable ergonomic solution. Therefore, they’re far more effective than the standard anti-fatigue floor mats at reducing muscle strain, improving balance reactions and increasing blood circulation. This helps to prevent pain and injuries.
  • Reduced Risk: Insoles reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls, making the workplace safer and lowering expenses related to workers’ compensation claims. Facilities that utilize matting, must make sure to keep the surfaces clean and well-maintained so that they remain intact and the edges don’t curl up and create tripping hazards.
  • Less Maintenance: Insoles are often machine washable, making them extremely easy to keep clean compared to mats that build up dirt over time.
  • Easy to Implement: Insole programs are simple to implement, particularly if you have conducted a wear test trial with a key group of employees first.
  • Cost Effective: Insoles are more affordable than floor matting. Top end cost for a floor mat is approximately $200 with higher end insoles at approximately ÂĽ that cost.

Rather than an afterthought, the right insoles should be considered as a necessary complement to any corporate health and wellness program. Implementing a company insole program is an important decision and all aspects should be considered, including employee involvement, to ensure the program meets the needs of all workers, and has a positive impact and acceptance rate.

How To Make Those Workers’ Feet Happy

The rank and file know that proper supportive insoles will help address physical work requirements such as prolonged standing, static postures, over-exertion and repetitive motion. The right insole provides better balance and overall lower body alignment. This in turn reduces aches, pain and injuries on the job. Another added benefit is that once an insole program is instituted, the confidence level for safety leaders will be increased.

(Corporate Wellness Magazine)

Finding an insole provider that offers numerous customizable and comfortable options allows companies and employees to explore a range of solutions for both plant/ warehouse and office workers. Insoles that provide shock absorption can be used to prevent health and pain issues, while others provide more support to align the foot into the proper neutral position.

A new insole, SelectFlex provides companies with a unique and cost effective way to offer their employees dynamic customization for their arch while, providing maximum comfort. With SelectFlex PowerLift Arch suspension system, the wearer is able to control the support level and dynamic firmness provided to the arch. This unique Arch-Control Insole has earned SelectFlex the honor as Best Foot Protection Product of 2020 by Industrial Safety & Health News (ISHN Awards), additionally, this superior technology will translate to improved employee foot health, reduced fatigue, higher productivity and lower injury/illness associated costs.

Different work activities, types of footwear and other factors within a corporation can impact the level of safety, comfort and support required. Therefore, it’s important to provide anti-fatigue solutions with multiple customization options. SelectFlex allow users to adjust support easily and quickly when these factors impact comfort, support and balance.

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REDUCING WORKPLACE INJURIES – PART II

In part II of our 2-part blog series, we address the third top injury event in the workplace, why it happens and what can be done to decrease its occurrence.

Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls (STFs)

​When people think about dangers in the workplace, they often underestimate the impact of STFs. Not only are these accidents major causes of injuries leading to missed work, but they can also be deadly. According to OSHA, slips trips and falls are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities, resulting in 15% of all accidental deaths. (Safety Online Worker). For workers in hospital environments, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [2009] states that the incidence rate of lost-workday STF injuries was 38.2 per 10,000 employees, which was 90% greater than the average rate for all other private industries combined (20.1 per 10,000 employees). STFs as a whole are the second most common cause of lost-workday injuries in hospitals. (CDC)

10 Proactive Prevention Tips

While slips, trips and falls can often be attributed to carelessness or clumsiness, the good news is that most accidents are preventable. It is critical to frequently survey your work environment to avoid potential issues. Here are 10 proactive prevention tips to help keep your employees and customers safe and out of harm’s way. (Interstate Restoration)

  • Keep walking surfaces clean and free of clutter. An unobstructed path minimizes the opportunity for employees to trip over unexpected objects and reduces the potential for falls.
  • Keep stairwells clear, well-lit and free from unsecured objects. Stairs are a common area for falls in the workplace and additional care is often required to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Power, internet and phone cords can often create a sea of obstacles for employees and customers. Try to run cables behind walls or under carpets to keep them hidden. Install power outlets, internet connections and phone jacks in easily-accessible locations to avoid running cables across walkways.
  • Proper lighting inside and outside of the workplace can help illuminate common areas where employees or customers may trip or fall. More often than not, steps or other hazards are hidden in darkness or shadows. Installing spotlights, step lighting, reflective tape, etc. helps highlight problems areas and can reduce STFs.
  • Using clear, well-placed signage can help call attention to potential problem areas. A sign indicating a step, gap, uneven ground or loose rocks will call attention to the hazard and increase awareness and attentiveness.
  • Providing ways for employees to reach heights safely, such as ladders and accessible step stools, can minimize falls. By ensuring supportive options are present, there is less chance that an employee (or customer) will decide to rely on unstable chairs, desks or tables.
  • Make sure there are no cracks or holes in building flooring or in the pavement outside. Repair any problem areas immediately and be sure to place warning signs in/on/around areas that need to be fixed.
  • Rugs are an easy solution on otherwise slippery surfaces, but be sure to add non-skid padding beneath all rugs.
  • In the event a spill occurs, immediately place warning signs around the hazard, then tackle the cleanup process as soon as possible.
  •  Make sure employees wear footwear that is appropriate for specific work conditions. Shoes with proper arch support should be provided to facilitate optimal balance at all times, as well as shoes with good traction to avoid slipping.

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