October 4th is National Manufacturing Day, a celebration that recognizes the contributions of the 12.82 million manufacturing workers in the United States. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, manufacturers contributed $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy in Q4 of 2018 alone.
Manufacturing companies and their workers are the backbone of the U.S. economy. When American manufacturers suffer, we all suffer. On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management’s announced that its manufacturing index fell to 47.8 in September, the lowest level since June 2009. According to the Washington Post, “new orders, production and exports were all down in September as manufacturers struggled to sell their products, especially abroad.”
With the trade war showing no signs of slowing down, manufacturing companies will need to identify ways to shore up their bottom lines if they are going to weather the economic storm. One strategy for this that is often overlooked, or dismissed as a cost of doing business, is injury prevention. The simple actions of pushing, pulling, carrying and lifting account for 46 percent of non-fatal manufacturing workplace injuries and the manufacturing industry spends $3.48 billion annually on musculoskeletal injuries alone.
The good news is that the vast majority of these injuries are preventable. By teaching workers how to properly lift, push, pull and interact with their environment, companies can slash costs related to musculoskeletal injuries, saving millions of dollars annually while strengthening their culture as opposed to diminishing it. What’s more is that companies that invest in injury reduction will be well positioned to emerge from an economic downturn operating at maximum efficiency.