A workplace injury can significantly impact you and your business. And it happens more than you think. Employers reported 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 One-third of those workplace injuries resulted in days away from work. While that may seem staggering, the number of reported work-related injuries has been declining. This means workplaces are becoming safer. Some of that decline could be attributed to better workplace safety programs.
It’s the employer’s responsibility to have well-defined workplace safety guidelines. It’s more than just a good idea. It’s a necessity. It can create a safe working environment for your employees.
Addressing occupational safety issues might seem costly at first. But in the long run, safer workplaces can save money by lowering workers’ compensation premiums and claims costs. Before you can eliminate risks at your workplace, you have to identify them first.
One of the easiest ways to identify hazards in the workplace is to use the GOAL Method. GOAL stands for: Go Out and Look! Schedule and document periodic safety inspections. Depending on the exposures and types of hazards, conduct inspections daily, weekly, monthly or on a quarterly basis.
Documentation of the inspections is critical for various regulations. It’s essential if follow-up becomes necessary. Records should include:
Document any identified conditions and note remediation methods. Additionally, the safety committee and senior management should review all inspections. They can monitor the remediation process and identify any trends in the operation that may exist.
Aside from identifying risks through periodic inspections, there are some basic safety tips businesses can follow to create a safer workplace.
Office environments present their own unique set of safety risks. Office employees sit for most of the workday, putting them at risk for back and neck pains. Long-term repetitive use of phones and computers present additional risks. These include:
Like any other workplace, injuries can also occur in various ways:
Taking regular breaks can help reduce the risk of injuries. But knowing how to mitigate these risks is a great first step to creating a safer workplace.
Falls – Believe it or not, falls are the most common accidents in office environments. In fact, a 2011 study found 29 percent of ground-level falls resulted in 31 or more lost workdays. The most common causes of office falls reported are:
Tips for avoiding falls in the office include:
Workstation Ergonomics – Not all injuries are the result of a single, traumatic accident. Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) develop over years of harmful repetitive motions. Repetitive motions can become harmful when done improperly over an extended period. Proper work area ergonomics are an essential part of avoiding RSI. Here are some ergonomic considerations to review when setting up a new workstation:
Many jobs require different safety guidelines, depending on specific responsibilities. No matter the job, proper safety training is essential to reduce risks. It can also help improve workplace health and safety. Train employees on safe workplace practices and to identify risks. Your employees should know where to find and how to use safety equipment. Employees should also be familiar with the proper use of any personal protective equipment.
Introducing new equipment into the workplace can be disruptive to workplace safety. Using equipment successfully depends on the ability to work with it comfortably. To ensure the proper use of equipment, users must be knowledgeable in several areas:
With the proper workplace safety plan in place, you can minimize the severity and cost of workers’ compensation claims. You may also be able to reduce your workers’ comp costs. Learn more about the cost of workers’ compensation. Get a quote today for workers’ compensation. If you prefer to speak to one of our insurance specialists, please call 888-493-2667.
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