It could easily be said that no industry or workplace is 100% free from the risk of accidents occurring. With that in mind, there are certain tips and best practices to follow in order to prevent workplace injuries.
6 Ways to Prevent Workplace Injuries
Create an Emergency Plan
All exits of your building need to be clearly marked in case of an emergency evacuation. Have a written plan in place for what your team members will do in case of fire, natural disaster, active shooter, and medical emergency. Make sure your employees know the plan and organize drills periodically. Inform all workers as to the location of first aid kits and fire extinguishers.
Train All Employees in Your Company’s Safety Policies
Safety training should absolutely be a required part of the onboarding process, and regular refreshers for long-term employees as well. Part of this training should include potential hazards in the employee’s workplace and how to prevent common industry-specific injuries and accidents.
Appoint a safety manager for your team and have them create a user-friendly reference for important safety information such as emergency contact numbers and emergency plans. Each employee receives this reference as part of their new hire training. Prevention is always the best policy, and prevention begins with education.
Hire Enough People to Allow for Time Off
Occasional absences from work are inevitable. People get sick, have family emergencies arise, and deserve a vacation from time to time. Make sure your staffing accounts for this, and that you’re not running on a bare minimum “skeleton crew” or requiring your team members to work overtime due to understaffing.
Having enough people to cover for absences is a great step toward preventing employee burnout and allowing them to use their hard-earned PTO. Overworked employees make more mistakes and are more prone to both causing and succumbing to on-the-job injuries than their well-rested counterparts.
Require Correct Use of Personal Protective Equipment
The types of PPE that your employees need varies by industry and position. Some of the most common are:
- hearing protection
- eye protection
- shoes with a non-slip sole
Ensuring that your team members are trained and strongly encouraged to wear their PPE correctly at all times is sure to cut down on workplace injuries. In some cases, certain types of PPE are required by law, and your company can face fines for failing to keep their employees compliant. In the United States, fines for noncompliance can be up to $145,000 per violation.
Incentivize Keeping a Safe Workplace
Create a reward system for employees who report unsafe working conditions or hazards that need to be taken care of. Rather than being made to feel like tattle tales or busybodies, your team members should know that management is grateful for their vigilance and for finding ways to prevent workplace injuries. Make sure all your employees know that keeping the workplace tidy and free from hazards is everyone’s responsibility and is a major priority for the company.
Keep it Clean and Clear
Slips and falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Something as simple as a bit of water spilled from the office cooler can lead to a painful and costly accident. Food and other organic waste can attract pests and bacteria that spread illness.
Encourage all team members to clean up after themselves and have your facilities cleaned professionally on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to have your safety manager perform frequent inspections of the workplace to discover any violations of the company’s health and safety regulations.
No matter how well you educate your employees, however, making mistakes and accidents are a part of human nature. When on-the-job injuries do occur, make sure your company is properly protected. Contact Thomson Smith & Leach Insurance Group in Lafayette, Franklin, Abbeville, or Baton Rouge, LA, today to discuss the best commercial insurance solutions for your business needs.