How to Keep Your Employees Healthy

Sick worker

Every year, U.S. employers lose an estimated US$3,600 per hourly worker and an additional $2,650 per salaried worker to employee absenteeism, according to a report from CIRCADIAN, a company that provides workforce performance and safety solutions for businesses that operate around the clock. A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered a more conservative per-worker estimate but still pegged the total nationwide cost of productivity losses linked to chronic absence at $225.8 billion.

One of the key drivers of employee absenteeism is health challenges which, according to an analysis by the Integrated Benefits Institute,  cost U.S employers a staggering $575 billion per year. These are the kinds of numbers no business can afford to ignore.

Organizations looking to get a handle on health-driven absenteeism should look to the supply closet. The products we use to clean and disinfect our work spaces are as important as they are often overlooked.

Many of these products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have been connected to liver and kidney damage, central nervous system damage, and more. Other common ingredients, like ammonia and bleach, are also highly toxic. It shouldn’t be surprising then when employees, who are exposed to these chemicals on a regular basis (especially those responsible for applying them), are calling in sick.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage, minimize, or even effectively eliminate these risks. Here are four trends that employers can follow to make a difference, for both their workforce’s health and their company’s bottom line.

Joshua Schwartz

Joshua Schwartz is the president and co-founder of Viking Pure, as well as an active developer of medical real estate and supportive housing. Prior to Viking Pure, he was the president of an Article 28 Diagnostic and Treatment Center. Schwartz began his career in the financial industry, first in investment banking at Citigroup and then at private equity firm Apollo Management.

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