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Ways to Avoid Being Re-Injured After Resuming Work

11 July 2023

Workplace injuries make one of the most common occurrences in the United States and around the world. The total number of reported cases of workplace injuries in the United States in the year 2021 has been 2.8 million workers. Most of these injuries may be attributed to various professions, including manufacturing, farming, construction, and professions involving the use of machines. However, workplace injuries are not limited to dangerous professions only. According to estimates, employees with a desk job are equally prone to be injured while at work, given the repetitive nature of tasks they have to perform daily.

While rest and physical therapy following a workplace injury often help workers get back to work; however, it is common for workers to make the same mistakes again. As a result, many workers end up injuring themselves.

While getting injured is a serious concern, getting injured again is an even more severe workplace concern. If an injured employee didn't take enough time off from work or didn't receive appropriate care following an injury, they have a higher risk of re-injuring themselves. A significant concern with re-injuring is that it can lead to an even more severe injury than the initial one.

Moreover, if the injured employee resumes work in the same workplace conditions that resulted in their injury in the first place, the same injury will likely occur again.

If you have been involved in a workplace injury, you know the challenges of returning to work following an injury. Here are six ways to avoid being re-injured after resuming work.

How to Prevent Re-Injury Following Returning to Work?

If you have recently been injured at work and are planning to resume work, here are some of the ways that you can try out to avoid being re-injured after resuming work.

#1. Listen to Your Healthcare Practitioner and Your Body

When resuming work following an injury, it's always best to listen to your healthcare provider first. Make sure you resume work only when your healthcare provider allows you to do so and not when you simply want to go back to work. Never resume work unless your doctor says it's okay for your physical or mental health to do so.

For some employees, it's often challenging to stay at home, which is why too often they choose to resume work earlier than they should, even when their healthcare practitioner doesn't allow them to do so.

The safest thing to do so is never to resume work unless your doctor says so. It will not only help you recover appropriately from your existing injuries but will also aid in reducing the risk of future injuries.

You should always ask questions from your primary healthcare practitioner and let them determine when is a safe time to return to work.

Moreover, apart from relying on the healthcare practitioner's advice, it's also recommended that you listen to your body because your body will provide you with a better answer than anyone else.

If your doctor has recommended you to stay at home for a longer time, but you feel your body is ready to resume work, get in touch with your doctor and update them about how you feel. Let your body and your doctor's input guide you on the best time to resume work.

#2. Get Appropriate Coaching and Training

Workplace injuries are most commonly a result of poor posture, inefficient movement, and repetitive motions. Therefore, it is critical that you get appropriate coaching about body mechanics, which helps employees work on their behaviors and lifestyle patterns that contribute to developing good habits that help prevent injury.

Receiving appropriate ergonomic training allows employees to use all the benefits of their workstation design and workplace accessories to help reduce the overall stress on the body, which aids in reducing your risk of getting re-injured after resuming work following an injury.

#3. Stay in Touch with Your Employer

When you get injured at your workplace and take a recovery break, it's critical that you stay in touch with your employer throughout this period. While it may not directly reduce your risk of getting re-injured at work but it will help your employer learn more about practicing employee safety measures.

It's best to ensure that you share all relevant information about your injury and potential treatment with your employer. While specific laws protect your privacy regarding your treatment and interactions with your healthcare practitioners, you can voluntarily share information about your condition with your employer while recovering from the injury.

It will not only help your employer learn more about the recovery process involved in specific injuries but will also encourage employers to take appropriate measures that will reduce the risk of further injuries for other employees and help you return to work smoothly.

#4. Request Accommodations

As you intend to resume work following recovery from your injury, you must ensure that your employers know what possible accommodations you may need.

Moreover, ensure that all concerned departments in your organization, including your existing department and the HR, know about any special arrangements you would need as you resume work.

While these measures will facilitate your recovery, they will also help reduce your risk of re-injury after resuming work.

If you cannot communicate with your employer exactly about the kind of accommodations you may need as you resume work, you can ask your doctor to make recommendations to your employers on necessary accommodations.

#5. Practice Self-Care

As employees choose the resume work following an injury, it's critical that they prepare their bodies for resuming work at home. Moreover, while they prepare themselves to resume work, they should also be able to practice measures that can improve their overall physical and mental well-being as they resume work.

It's critical that employees learn techniques like massage and stretching exercises that serve as a way to manage posture-related stress. Moreover, practicing these techniques will also aid in reducing musculoskeletal fatigue and minimize the risk of re-injury. Furthermore, by practicing massage and stretching, employees will also be able to manage their anxiety about discomfort in resuming work, which helps make a smoother transition back to work.

The other critical aspect of practicing self-care is incorporating microbreaks into the schedule. By incorporating short breaks into the workday, employees can manage their risk of being re-injured after resuming work. Microbreaks help breaks the cycle of prolonged sitting and other posture-related concerns that often lead to musculoskeletal problems.

#6. Being Proactive About Preventing Injuries

Ensuring that your workplace is safe to resume work is the best approach to prevent being re-injured after resuming work.

If you are still determining how to assess your workplace for any potential danger to your safety and well-being, here's how you can be proactive in assessing your risk of re-injury.

Ask your employers about how prepared the organization is to manage an accident or event in case of dangerous industries, including construction and jobs involving the use of heavy equipment and machinery,

In the case of desk jobs, check how ergonomically designed your workplace setting is that can help mitigate the risk of injury at work. Make sure your work incorporates the use of ergonomic office chairs and other essential ergonomic workplace accessories that can help reduce the risk of re-injury after you resume work.

Ensuring that your workplace is safe is one of the best ways to avoid being re-injured after resuming work.

Remember, Don't Resume Work Before Your Body is Ready!

If your primary healthcare practitioner has not allowed you to resume work, you don't have to do it.

Resuming work too early can negatively impact your recovery and can significantly increase your risk of getting re-injured.

Even if you feel well enough and believe that you can resume work, it's best to stick to your doctor's advice.

Moreover, always listen to the recommendations of your doctor as you resume work. Your doctor may recommend certain medical restrictions you will have to follow despite joining work to recover completely while reducing your risk of re-injury after resuming work.

How Can FlexiSpot Help Prevent Injuries at Work?

FlexiSpot is an industry leader in providing ergonomic workplace solutions to workplaces that involve working on a desk. By offering ergonomic office furniture and workplace accessories, FlexiSpot contributes significantly to minimizing the risk of workplace injuries in industries where employees spend prolonged hours at their desks.

To learn more about FlexiSpot and how we can help mitigate the risk of workplace injuries for your employees, get in touch with us today!