Workplace accidents can cause injury to your employees and your business. The resulting job absences may mean lowered productivity, lost time replacing personnel, and/or unplanned overtime or temporary worker charges. Especially for a smaller company, during a busy season, or when trying to complete a key job for a client, this can be devastating.
Workers compensation insurance is designed to cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job — but the best way to protect your employees is to help them avoid injury or illness in the first place. Furthermore, too many workers compensation claims can flag workplace safety issues to your state board and raise your insurance rates.
Here are three important steps you can take to protect your employees and avoid workplace accidents:
1. Assess the Risk
Put together a dedicated safety team that regularly assesses risk factors at your business facilities. Depending on the size of the company, this may include hiring dedicated risk managers and outside consultants. For each facility, piece of equipment or process, take stock of potential dangers and establish procedures to mitigate those risks.
2. Establish a “Safety First” Culture
Ensure that safety is embedded in the workplace culture and make it a collaborative responsibility of both management and employees. A great way to enhance and promote this is through a formal workplace safety program. According to the Insurance Information Institute, workplace safety programs not only help prevent accidents, they also increase morale, productivity and employee retention.
3. Train and Set Employee Expectations
Training for all levels of employees and management is key to creating a safe environment for all. In addition to job-specific safety training, conduct regular refresher sessions. Take these opportunities to remind staff to avoid unsafe behaviors, like heavy lifting without proper precautions or supervision, or hazardous situations, like walking on wet, slippery floors. Consider first aid training for some or all of your staff. Be sure to: