Employers measure all kinds of things when it comes to their employees. Largely this is so they can make predictions. In the context of safety, employers often measure what already happened (lagging indicators). But there is growing awareness that measuring leading indicators provides the insights necessary to make appropriate changes that result in lowered exposure (risk, liability, injury, etc.).
Since back pain is a major issue for employers for a whole host of reasons, what they decide to measure informs their options for managing risk and preventing injuries.
There are many risk factors for developing back pain, so it’s logical to consider measuring those. But what if, as the employer, you can’t really do anything – or it’s very difficult to do anything – about the risk factor that you measure? Then why bother?
Why not find a risk factor that is easy and quick to measure, that directly relates to the risk, and that you can change in a matter of minutes? In fact the measurement is the correction!
With that metric in place an employer could screen employees at will (various means and opportunities already exit in every company), and record the results. Any efforts made to use the screening tool as a means of critique and correction from then on would be proactive prevention.
Measure something meaningful and then watch the risk go down. I recommend our Back Injury Prevention course. Call us for details: (425) 348-5207.