Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.

Successful Corporate Race Sponsorships With Inflatable Product Replicas

You’re in charge of a big launch for a new brand of snack food – the hottest thing to hit the shelves since chips in a can. You’ve got a great product, now you need to generate a bit of buzz, and fast. Thankfully, that’s just what inflatables do. Coupled with a corporate race sponsorship, inflatable product replicas can give a much-needed boost to your marketing campaign.1. They’re visible. How many ads do you encounter every day. Fifty? One hundred? More than that at a NASCAR race, for sure. After a while, they all blur together in a dizzying mess. That’s why inflatables work so well. They’re large and unique, so when they appear in a parking lot or on a rooftop, people take notice.2. They’re attention grabbing. If you’re not taking consumers by the hand and introducing them to your product, they will never give you a second look. A new bag on a shelf – even with the best eye-level placement money can buy – will go unnoticed. There’s just too much competition. Greet a crowd of hungry NASCAR fans with a 20-foot-tall replica, though, and now you’ll see some heads turn.3. They’re interesting. That inflatable product replica is a great start, but to really get the crowd revved up, pair it with samples and coupons. Now you’ve got a consumer who will seek out your brand because he’s ready to buy.4. They give you a chance to get personal. In massive crowds, you’ve got about five seconds to make an impression. Handing out tasty samples of your new product from the shadow of an inflatable bag of chips increases your odds of being remembered later, when the buying decision is made.5. They’re fun! Race fans are enchanted by the sight of giant-sized advertising balloons. For more punch, combine a product replica with an inflatable batting cage where visitors compete for coupons, free products, or other prizes. That’s a winning combination that will stay in the minds of customers long after you’ve packed up and gone home.Inflatable product replicas are made from durable materials, so they stand up to NASCAR race tracks all across the U.S. You can use them repeatedly, no matter where your marketing campaign takes you. They’re quick to set-up and quick to take down, and can be easily handled by one or two people.Super-size your hot new product in inflatable form, and watch your sales take off faster than Tony Stewart at the Daytona 500. Maybe they’ll even name a race after you.

Hey Product Manager, Care For Some Risk?

Every product that you are put in charge of developing comes with an unwelcome addition – risk. We all know that risk exists and in fact many of us have developed ways to identify risk, quantify risk, and even manage risk. However it turns out that there is something very important that very few of us have been doing – calculating how much risk a new product has and what it’s going to cost us.Why You’ve Been Calculating Product Development Risk All WrongI can only speak for myself here, but when I’m placed in charge of creating a new product, the thing that I really don’t want to be thinking about is risk. Rather, I prefer to focus on just exactly how I’m going to accomplish what I’m being asked to do. It turns out that in this case, I’m probably wrong.Every new product has some level of risk associated with it. It makes sense that as product managers we really should be aware of how much risk developing a given product has. Look, our careers are riding on this stuff and it sure seems as though we should go into it with our eyes wide open instead of squeezing them shut and hoping for the best.In a normal distribution you can see that the risk profile of a new product development process can take on many different shapes. The traditional shape would be a straight line that reached up to 1.0 – basically a 100% chance that the project would complete on budget and would produce the expected profits.A normal distribution shows a more accurate real-world view. If the X-axis shows how much you’ve invested in the new product and the Y-axis shows the probability of completing the project on time and making the expected level of profit, then you can start to see how much risk you are dealing with.In no case will you ever have a 100% guarantee that you’ll be able to stay within your budget or achieve profit goals. Some projects are more likely that others to overrun their budgets (you know what products I’m talking about here).In the end, Armour has identified 6 different issues that product managers need to consider when we are trying to accurately calculate the amount of risk that there is in developing and launching a new product:Expected cost of the project
Probability of being able to stay within that expected cost
What the graph of the budget risk profile looks like
Expected profitability of the new product
Probability of being able to achieve the expected profit
What the graph of the profit risk profile looks likeIn the end, every product manager has a responsibility to know what the level of risk associated with the creation of a new product is. What you choose to do with this knowledge is your own business, but you need to make sure that you know what you are dealing with. What All Of This Means For YouProduct managers live in a world filled with risk. Although we all know this, it can be easy to forget it at times and take the simple route in which we don’t correctly calculate just how much risk we are facing when we start to develop a new product. Our problems often stem from the fact that all too often we end up making simplifying assumptions that just aren’t valid. The two most common points that we seem to overlook when we are evaluating if we should develop a new product include forgetting to factor in our ability to complete the development on time and on budget as well as the ability of the product to generate the profits that we think that it will.Taking the time to account for both of these risks will give product managers a more realistic view of the world that they live in. What we end up doing with this new information is our own decision; however, there is no excuse for us to not have the information in the first place.