First Day Back to Work Safety Talk
There is a multitude of different risk factors for workplace injuries. One risk factor for an increased likelihood of injury is working after an extended break such as coming into work on a Monday after a few days off. It has been statistically shown that a worker is more likely to be injured on a Monday. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that since 2007, Mondays have had the highest number of workplace injuries out of all the days of the week every single year with the exception of two years.
Why is the First Day of Work Back More Dangerous?
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides injury data where we can see that more injuries occur on Mondays than any other day of the week, they do not give an explanation why. There can be a multitude of possibilities to why more injuries occur on the first day back to work. Lack of focus or attention could be one reason why someone is more likely to fall victim to an injury on their first day back to work. Some other possibilities to consider:
- Mondays are known for individuals having lower energy levels and sometimes lower morale. We have all heard someone jokingly say they have “a case of the Mondays”. This can lead to caring less about the task at hand or not taking the time to take the extra steps to work safely.
- Personal issues at home creating stress or serving as a distraction. Issues that occurred over the weekend can possibly take the mind of a worker off of their work during the start of their week.
- Mondays, especially in the first few hours of the shift, can be hectic or busier than other times of the week.
Quick Steps to Prevent Injury on First Day Back
- Do a self-check to see whether you are fit for work or not before you start your shift. Ensure your head is in the game and you are able to focus on your work.
- Complete inspections of your work area as well as any tools or equipment used.
- Take the time and energy to ensure all the necessary safeguards are in place for your work tasks.
- Look out for your coworkers.
- Stop work if needed to address hazards.
The first day back to work has its own unique hazards. It is important to consider how or why injuries are more likely to occur on the first day back to work. Take the time to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to avoid injury during the first few hours of work after being off for a few days. Discussion point: Why might the first day back to work here create more hazards?