Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Combating the Physical Toll

July 12, 2002
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As a business owner, your main focus is to increase profits. Until now the majority of educational programs available to you have focused on increasing sales. These strategies have involved learning cleaning or marketing techniques, and how to take advantage of new opportunities as they present themselves. While this may seem to be the best business strategy, I believe it is really only part of the picture. The other part is increasing productivity and efficiency.

Carpet and upholstery cleaners, along with restoration specialists, have the second highest rate of injury compared to all other service related industries. There is no denying the physical toll this type of work can take on your body, but there is something you can do about it. By reducing the physical demands of your job, making it easier to perform, you can now get more work done in a shorter period of time. Increased productivity means increased profitability.

Now some of you may be thinking, “ I’m feel fine, I’m not hurt, I don’t need to know this.” Everyone needs to know this. Eight out of 10 people will suffer a back injury at some time during their life. These injuries account for 150 million lost workdays every year, and for the small business owner or sole proprietor the cost can be devastating. When you or one of your employees goes down with an injury, a series of events can happen that will financially damage your company. There is the very real possibility that you can lose a customer to your competition when you are unable to fulfill a commitment. At a recent workshop one participant told me how he had lost three good employees in the past year because they were unable to tolerate the physical toll of the job.

The effects of using your body improperly are cumulative. They are like the snowball rolling downhill, getting larger and larger as time goes by until they are nearly unstoppable. While you may feel fine now, the longer you choose to mistreat and ignore your body, the higher your risk of injury. By using your body in the manner it is designed for, you can stop this process, becoming more productive both at work and at home.

Providing insight into how injuries occur in this industry, along with simple day-to-day strategies for prevention, benefits the employer as well as the employee. Feel free to contact me with your specific questions and concerns at thom@thebodymechanic.net so they may be addressed in future articles.

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