While there are certainly some benefits to using social media, such as staying connected with colleagues and clients, there are also some risks – especially regarding workplace safety.
Workers who are heavy social media users may be more likely to suffer from workplace injuries. There are several reasons why this might be the case. And this article will explore some of those reasons and offer suggestions on staying safe.
Ways Social Media Use Can Lead to Workplace Injuries
Workers who are constantly checking their phones or scrolling through their feeds are not paying attention to their surroundings. This can lead them to miss potential hazards or fail to see oncoming traffic. It can also lead to mistakes being made. For example, a worker who is distracted by their phone might not notice a spilled substance on the floor and slip and fall.
Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation
You’ve probably experienced this – you’re scrolling through social media with the sound off at night, thinking to yourself, “just one more video” but then it’s two hours later. This is called social media fatigue, and while it seems like a no-brainer, it can lead to extreme fatigue at work, making you more likely to make mistakes. For example, if you are working with heavy machinery, being tired can lead to serious accidents.
Anxiety and Depression
Studies have shown that heavy social media use may lead to anxiety and depression. This is because people often compare their lives to the “perfect” lives they see on social media. They might feel like they’re not good enough or they don’t have what other people have which can lead to low self-esteem and negative thinking. And when people feel down, they’re more likely to make mistakes at work. For example, if you’re feeling depressed, you might not have the motivation to follow safety protocols.
What Can You Do to Stay Safe?
Here are some suggestions:
- Limit Your Social Media Use During Work Hours. No matter how flexible your job is, try to limit your social media use to breaks and lunchtime. That way, you can stay focused on your work and stay safe.
- If You Must Use Social Media for Work, Be Sure to Take Breaks Often. Social media can be draining, so it’s important to take breaks often. Get up and walk around or talk to a colleague. And be sure to take breaks at night so you can get a good night’s sleep.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings. This is important no matter what you’re doing, but it’s especially important when using social media. Be sure to pay attention to your surroundings and stay alert for potential hazards.
- Talk to Someone if You’re Feeling Down. If you find that social media is affecting your mental health, talk to a friend, family member, or therapist about it. They can help you find ways to cope with anxiety and depression.
By following these suggestions, you can stay safe at work. Remember, it’s your primary responsibility to stay safe while on the job. And that includes being aware of the dangers of heavy social media use.
The Law Office of James. M. Hoffman Is Here to Help
Have you or a loved one been injured at work? The Law Office of James. M. Hoffman is here to help. We have over 30 years of experience fighting to protect the rights of injured Missouri workers. Contact our workers compensation attorneys today for a free consultation.
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