According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, nonfatal workplace injuries amounted to nearly $62 billion in direct U.S. workers compensations costs (more than a billion dollars per week). When you combine the direct and indirect costs, the average cost of a workplace injury is $100,000. With the potential for additional costs, due to OSHA fines and other legal action.
As you can see, workplace injuries can be very costly. There is the financial impact, as well as the emotional toll that an injury can take on your employees and your organization. It is imperative that you take the proper steps to reduce injuries and ensure your employees go home safely after every shift.
Below are 5 steps you can take to protect your employees and reduce injuries.
1) Identify Potential Hazards
A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm. Common hazards for many businesses include wet floors, objects obstructing paths, gas leaks, loud noises, repetitive motion, ergonomic issues and heavy items that can strain employees' backs. Although some hazards are less likely to happen in some workplaces than others, it's important to assess which hazards are most damaging to your business and your employees.
A good first step is to have a third party come and perform an assessment of your workplace. They can identify hazards that you may have overlooked as well as ones that are specific to a particular job function or work area.
2) Clearly Mark Hazard Areas
Areas that have potential hazards should be clearly marked with the proper signage. This ensures that employees are aware of hazard areas and will prepare themselves before entering. It is a good idea for the signage to include icons or other notices that outline what type of PPE is required to wear before entering. In many industries, proper signage is required by law however, even if it is not required for your business, proper signage can be a valuable tool in protecting your employees.
3) Create a Safety Manual
It is important to make sure all work and training instructions are clearly outlined and understood by your employees. Provide clear written instructions for procedures and check with employees before they begin using equipment or performing tasks for the first time.
Your safety manual should include procedures for handling equipment, the proper PPE to be worn and what steps to take to avoid injury. Additionally, a disaster management plan, for dangerous situations like fires or natural disasters, should be created as well. Give each employee a copy of the safety manual and review the manual each year to see see if anything needs to be amended.
4) Develop a Safety Training Program
Safety training is an important step in reducing injuries. It is important that you develop training that is specific to your business. A safety training program for an office environment will be much shorter than one for a manufacturing plant, but you should still cover basics like ergonomics, use of machines in the office, evacuation plans, sanitation procedures and basic first aid. Manufacturing situations may include safe machine operation, chemical handling and use of safety equipment.
Regardless of the environment, safety training should be mandatory for all employees. It is key to break up sessions to ensure employees remain engaged and when possible trainers should provide real life examples in addition to the basic content.
5) Invest in Safety Technology
Taking the steps outlined above can help to improve your overall safety program, but injuries can still happen. These preventative measures help protect employees, but they cannot identify who is at risk for injury. By implementing a predictive analytics workplace safety system like, Vantage Predictive Analytics, you can focus on strategic injury prevention. Vantage tracks multiple risk factors and alerts you to individual employees who may be at risk, so you can intervene to prevent injury. Presented in an easy to use interface, Vantage makes it easy to quickly navigate through your entire organization to see who is at risk.
Workplace injuries are incredibly costly to employees and employers alike. By following these steps and making the necessary investments you can ensure the safety of your employees and the success of your business.
Schedule a free safety assessment with an Arbill Safety Expert today, and see how working with a true safety partner can help you prevent injuries, reduce costs and ensure your employees safety.