Preventing Workplace Injuries: Reduce Fall Risk Through Balance

Become a workplace injury prevention expert with these 5 wellness exercises. Make occupational safety a priority and reduce workers' compensation costs!

National Safety Month is a great time to combat one of the most common causes of workplace injuries - falls. The risk of falls is a serious concern in the work environment. In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were over 200,000 reported incidents of falls, slips, or trips in the workplace. Serious injuries, even fatal, can occur due to this extremely common workplace incident. Unfortunately, signage isn’t advanced enough to catch you, an employee, or a coworker if you trip and lose your balance. Yet!

Workplace safety is the responsibility of every employee and there are numerous safety measures you and your team can utilize in your everyday tasks to avoid common workplace hazards. Today we hope to give you some tips on how you can train employees to take safety into their own hands.

Injury Prevention Starts at Home

The good news is that workplace falls are 100% preventable. There are three simple ways you can help your employees reduce the risk of falling.

  1. Improving your balance can significantly reduce occupational injuries from falls. Whether working from a ladder, scaffolding, or simply walking down the stairs, balance is an essential tool every employee can train every day to create a safer workplace.
  2. Getting a good night's sleep reduces the risk of falling as well. The CDC recommends a minimum of 7 hours of sleep for adults. According to the National Safety Council injury rates are highest among workers who generally sleep less than seven hours per day and workers who typically work more than 40 hours per week. Going to bed at a consistent time, turning off electronics, and daily exercise can all lead to better sleep.
  3. Understanding and utilizing wellness techniques outside of work also decreases the chance of fall injuries in the workplace. With a little stretching and exercise incorporated into your everyday activities at home, you can take proactive steps toward a more safe work environment. The added benefits of better mobility and energy are just the cherry on top!

Balance Exercsise in Workplace

Toss Out Workplace Injuries with these 5 Exercises

The risk of workplace injuries increases substantially with impaired balance through sleep deprivation and overexertion. A high-quality, tailored training and injury prevention program not only acts as a powerful accident prevention tool but also, enhances your quality of life inside and outside of the workplace. As part of your team’s basic safety training, consider implementing some of the following wellness techniques:

  1. Weight Shifts – A great place to start improving balance is by incorporating weight shifts into your daily activities. Simply stand with your feet hip-width apart. Distribute your weight equally on both legs. Then shift your weight to one side and slowly lift your opposite foot. Hold that position for 30 seconds. Then lower your foot back to the ground and repeat with the other leg. If you cannot hold this position for 30 seconds hold it for as long as you can! It can take time to become accustomed to new stretches and exercises but don’t feel discouraged.

  2. Stand on One Leg – Core strength is an essential part of having good balance. Single Leg Balance exercises can enhance core and leg strength creating an extremely effective compound movement. Balance on one leg and bring your opposite foot up. Slightly bend your weight-bearing knee. Build up to holding this comfortably for 30 seconds. Focusing on a stable object with your vision can help if you are having difficulty performing this action. In addition, you can try doing this while completing everyday chores such as washing dishes or folding laundry.

  3. Squats – Building the muscles in your legs will help prevent stumbling. Start with a simple squat – feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and slowly lower yourself as if sitting on a chair behind you. Keep your back straight, chest up, and abdominals tight. Build up to completing 3 sets of 10. Make sure to push through your hips and not extend your knees in front of your toes. For added variety, you can use dumbbells or kettlebells while squatting.

  4. Walk Heel to Toe – This simple exercise trains balance with ‘steps’ you can complete anywhere! Walk 20 steps forward, heel to toe. Then challenge yourself and walk 20 steps backward, heel to toe. An easy way to help find your balance during this exercise is to bring your arms up and out to shoulder height.

  5. Back Leg Raises – Apart from improving your balance, this exercise will help strengthen your legs and lower back using the same techniques as standing on one leg. Stand tall and lift your right leg straight backward. Try not to bend your knees. Hold for a few seconds and then return your leg to the ground. Repeat with the other side. Build up to holding each leg for 30 seconds. Keep your core tight for the best results. Finding your balance in this exercise can be difficult, so feel free to hold onto a nearby chair or desk lightly while you learn the movements!

Just like any other exercise, balance is a skill that requires practice to maintain. Incorporate daily stretching to help prevent strains, sprains, and tears and you can knock out two work-related injuries with one simple training program A proactive approach to safety concerns is essential to preventing injuries from falls, increasing personal and professional safety standards, and making a happier, healthier workspace.

Use this short ErgoAid stretching guide from The Occupational Safety and Health Administration for additional stretches. Remember, safety is the job of every employee, so consider accessibility when implementing these programs in your workplace. Briotix Health’s PRO Fit program offers a more extensive look into the ergonomics of the workplace, providing daily stretches and warm-ups to utilize in your safety programs.


Consult with an Injury Prevention Specialist


Benefits of Proper Balance on Workplace Safety

Good balance isn’t just useful to gymnasts, athletes, and construction workers. Every employee uses balance in their workday at some point. Walking upstairs, moving heavy loads, and even traversing your workspace can require the use of balance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that of the 5190 fatal workplace incidents that occurred in 2021, 850 were due to falls. Preventing the possibility of an avoidable accident occurring in your workplace is well worth the extra training.

The National Floor Safety Institute has found that slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older. You and your team deserve the ability to live and work free of the pain and worry that can come from a work-related injury so take the steps to prevent them early and often.

Safe Workers appreciate Ergonomics

Learn More about Musculoskeletal Health

Having good balance and stability is just one piece to your musculoskeletal health. Maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system is one of the biggest drivers for preventing sickness and injury throughout life.

Briotix Health is here to help you learn more about how to improve the ergonomics and musculoskeletal health of your workforce. Our tailored solutions are built to meet the needs of you and your employees, to significantly impact worker health, reduce workplace injuries, and save companies money by reducing workers’ compensation claims.


Learn more with Briotix Health


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