3 min read
Learning how to prevent work injuries is one of the most important things a business can do to reduce expenses.
Many companies choose to display 'days without injury' signs while others offer bonuses and incentives and as a powerful reminder to make safety a top priority. Why? Because it's a lot more affordable to learn how to prevent work injuries than it is to pay for their unexpected outcome. By learning how to prevent work injuries, companies can reduce their expenses significantly.
Studies found that in 2017 there were approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers alone. Almost one third of these incidents resulted in multiple days off costing businesses approximately one billion dollars a week in direct workers compensation costs. These totals don't even include the extra losses associated with workplace mishaps. Companies may need to need to hire (and train) replacement workers and absorb productivity losses. Don't forget the cost of cleanup, repairs, and time spent by staff members handling the injured employee's workers compensation claim. Safety training is worth the investment considering how much a single accident can end up costing.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) website is the first place businesses should look if they're trying to reduce accidents. They provide a multitude of training resources and information to ensure employers reduce hazards in the workplace.
Prevent the Most Common Work Injuries
15 OSHA approved safety tips
Overexertion injuries rank as the highest cause of disabling injuries in the workplace costing businesses more than $15 billion in direct expenses. While one may think that overexertion injuries are more common in construction or manufacturing, they can truly affect anyone. Lifting, working in extreme temperatures, or something as simple as constant repetitive motion can cause injuries severe enough to require medical leave.
Prevent overexertion injuries by assessing all job site risks to make sure employees:
1. Have the proper tools and personal protective equipment to do their jobs without extra strain.
2. Take breaks to stretch if they work in awkward positions or with repetitive motions.
3. Take rest and hydration breaks if they work in excessive temperatures.
Get a grip on slips, trips, and falls.
Over 17% of disabling work injuries come from slips, trips, and falls, that could be prevented with training and by addressing potential hazards. No matter how far someone falls, the risk of injury is substantial. Workers face the threat of sprains, broken bones, back injuries, and in some cases even death.
Prevent injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls by:
4. Assessing the building's flooring types and doing what's necessary to make them less of a fall risk.
5. Keeping all workspaces and walkways clean, dry, and free from obstructions.
6. Requiring employees to wear appropriate footwear with enough traction.
7. Providing adequate lighting in all workspaces.
8. Ensuring all stairs with four or more risers have railings.
9. Implementing practices to ensure safety for employees working with ladders or from higher elevations.
Help employees breathe easy.
Breathing in smoke, fog, dust, fumes, or gases can cause serious diseases such as cancer, which is why OSHA states that respirators are mandatory in any workplace where there's exposure to polluted air. Though respirators help, they are not one hundred percent effective in preventing respiratory illness. It's critical for employers to follow OSHA Respiratory Standard to help their employees stay healthy.
Prevent respiratory illnesses by:
10. Providing employees with proper protective equipment such as respirators.
11. Requiring medical evaluations for any employee required to use a respirator.
12. Using only respirators certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
13. Performing regular maintenance to ensure all protective equipment is in proper working order.
Prioritize safety training.
It may feel overwhelming because each industry has their own set of mandatory guidelines, but when it comes to safety training, it's not worth cutting any corners. Companies found breaking OSHA safety regulations can pay penalties anywhere from seven to seventy thousand dollars per violation. They're also at higher risk for an increase in accidents, lost production time, and higher insurance premiums.
Prevent costly OSHA fines by:
14. Reaching out to OSHA's specialists to ensure your business is safety compliant. They can help you find the exact training appropriate for your industry.
15. Getting involved in OSHA's workplace audit and working hard to improve safety by making any necessary changes.
For help with minimizing risk in your business, contact your local Pekin Insurance agent to find out about our loss control program.