According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 99 U.S. workers a week are killed on the job. Another 2.9 million workers incur nonfatal workplace injuries annually, the most common being falls, electrocution and being struck by an object.
Workplace injuries can be devastating and irreparable for employees, plus they can cost businesses tremendous amounts of time and money. In fact, breaches of OSHA safety protocols exposing employees to undue risk can cost employers up to five years in prison, a $600,000 fine, or both.
Many, if not all of these incidents could be prevented with proper workplace safety practice, so don’t let your company become another statistic. When proactive steps are taken to prevent injuries, you can greatly reduce the probability of on-the-job injuries.
Here are some things your business can employ to help:
Follow the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared”
Despite the best prevention, sometimes accidents still happen. Make sure your team is prepared to handle emergencies. First aid kits and AEDs should be at the ready, while ensuring all staff knows how to use safety equipment. Also:
- Incorporate a safety and wellness plan into your orientation
- Create workstation checklist and emergency action plans
- Designate a safety leader for employee questions and concerns
Educate employees and management
Oftentimes, knowing what to and not to do is all it takes to prevent injury. Ensure that someone is reviewing accidents, conducting periodic inspections and developing specific job descriptions to help prevent mishaps. Try to:
- Have a safety policy in accordance with OSHA laws
- Conduct regular safety updates and training
- Display safety posters and procedures
- Create rewards for being accident free and disciplinary actions for violations
- Keep records of all incidents and note trends for review
Provide proper equipment
Depending on the line of work providing safety equipment can also greatly reduce workplace injuries. Having the proper gloves, goggles, hardhats, boots and uniforms is important. But remember that not all injuries happen on construction sites, or in factories. Offices can be fraught with accidents and repetitive motion injuries as well.
Make sure you:
- Provide employees gel arm pads to prevent carpal tunnel
- Give frequent breaks on repetitive motion jobs
- Maintain a clean work environment and allow adequate space for people and equipment
Sometimes it’s helpful to have an independent perspective from an external audit team. Either way, having workplace safety reviews are an important part of providing a safe workplace, being a considerate employer and minimizing accidents.
At AccessPoint, our team of safety experts brings the assurance of safety education to your company. We provide up-to-date health and safety plans, compliance inspections, and health and safety training to help get your safety program in shape and reduce work-related injuries.
Learn how our PEO service model can help improve you safety compliance.