Safety is a critical issue for any business, whether you are engaged in heavy construction or information technology. Injuries can occur in any work environment and can affect your bottom line in terms of lost work hours, lower productivity and higher insurance costs. Here are a few injuries that are commonly seen in today’s workplace and a few ways they can be prevented.
Back strains are one of the top injuries sustained by individuals on the job. Yet many of these injuries are avoidable with consistent safety training, the use of lifting equipment and encouragement of cooperative action among work teams. Back supports in a variety of sizes should be on hand at all times. Regular safety meetings should be held to remind workers of safe lifting techniques. Lifting equipment should be well maintained. In addition, all workers should know that if they ask for help with a heavy load, others will be ready and willing to assist. These simple measures can reduce back injuries in the workplace, as well as reduce worker compensation costs.
Slips and falls are also common in work environments. However, employers can take many actions to prevent slip-and-fall injuries from occurring. All supervisors should ensure that work areas are kept clean and free of clutter that can cause falls. All stairways should have secure railings that are inspected and repaired, as needed. Ladders should be kept in good condition, and they should be used when a second person can help to steady it. Any work done at high elevation should be done with a safety belt that is secured to a solid structure. Any spills should be cleaned up immediately, or clearly marked with a cone until they can be handled. These measures can prevent the slips and falls that cost your company money.
Any industry that works with hazardous compounds should provide respiratory protection equipment to prevent injury from chemicals and particulate matter. Lung injuries can cause long-term disability and increase insurance costs to companies. They can also cause involvement of personal injury attorneys claiming cases of employer negligence. Safety training sessions should show the proper use of this equipment and encourage workers to use the personal protection equipment at all times.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
With increasing computer use, many workers spend long hours holding their hands and wrists in unnatural positions, which increases the pressure on nerves that run through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. They may experience increasing numbness, buzzing sensations and pain that make normal activities uncomfortable. Providing wrist rests, ergonomic chairs and frequent breaks can help to prevent this problem, and avoid carpal tunnel syndrome-related workers compensation claims.
Accidents happen, but you can minimize the number of accidents in your company, as well as reduce the severity of injuries that do occur. Your business can take a proactive approach to safety to reduce injury-related expenses and ensure the health and well-being of your workforce. By creating an environment where safety is part of your worker’s daily lives, you can ensure that they can optimize their productivity and fully participate in keeping your business expenses in line.