This June, the National Safety Council is highlighting the many ways that impairment can impact safety in the workplace as part of National Safety Month. Learning more, recognizing the signs, and properly tackling impairment can save lives.
Physical, mental, and social factors, including fatigue, stress, mental distress and more have been shown to cause changes in an employee’s ability to function properly and ultimately hinder workplace safety. According to a recent employer survey conducted by the NSC, over 90% of employers are just as concerned about the effects of chronic stress and mental health disorders as they are about alcohol and illicit opioids. Subsequently, the definition of workplace impairment has expanded to reflect how safety and well-being go hand in hand within the last few years.
Workers influenced by physical or mental components can pose serious threats to their organizations. The mistakes of impaired workers can impact their peers, increase Worker’s Compensation costs, and ultimately hinder your bottom line. With so many factors at stake, the ability to identify impairment issues within your organization is crucial.
It is important to note that impairment can be both seen and unseen, causing it to sometimes be difficult to recognize. To help combat some of this difficulty, Amerisure and technology vendor SOBRsafe are in the early stages of jointly offering a resource for policyholders that acts as a tool for detecting employee impairment. Be sure to contact your Amerisure Risk Management Specialist for more information.
Above all, the NSC recommends that employers prioritize implementing the proper policies, training, tools and procedures to create an impairment-free workplace. For more safety resources, toolkits, employer costs calculators and general information on National Safety Month, visit the NSC website.