Every year, 2 million American workers get hurt badly at their place of work. Most of those injured can’t go back to work and still need continuous medical attention, which is costly to both the business and the workers. In some cases, a company has to invest more of its money and time to hire and train new employees.
While accidents in the workplace are common, most are preventable.
Every employer has a legal responsibility to protect their employees. On the other hand, every worker needs to be alert, cautious, and always maintain safety practices. Both employees and employers have a responsibility to stay alert to the potential causes of accidents.
Health and safety is the responsibility of everyone in an organization. This may seem tough, but for employers the payoffs are huge: increased productivity of workers, increased bottom line, and greater consumer confidence.
Here are 5 ways that employers can (and should) help prevent accidents at the workplace:
1. Post safety guidelines
Posting safety guidelines is one of the easiest ways to keep your workers safe and aware of safety practices. Post the safety guidelines on your company’s walls and boards. Make them visible and easy to read. You should also set a safety program that every employee can follow (including you).
2. Provide proper security equipment
Providing your employees with proper personal protective equipment (PPE) helps to reduce accidents. Equipment such as protective eyewear, safety gloves, and secured shelving units are essential. The equipment makes it easy for employees to handle bulky and heavy loads and reduces their chances of getting injured.
3. Keep the workplace tidy
A tidy and well-organized working environment will rarely produce accidents. On the other hand, a messy environment is unsafe for you and your employees. For example, unattended water spillage can result in a slip and fall accident. Similarly, if your shelves aren’t well secured, they may fall on your employees, resulting in serious injuries such as broken bones or head trauma. Ensuring your workplace is organized and clean all the times can go a long way in preventing accidents.
4. Eliminate shortcuts
Sometimes, shortcuts can be lifesavers, especially on a tight deadline. However, they can also be dangerous and result in a serious injury. Don’t allow your employees to use shortcuts when it comes to safety. Instead, it’s better they follow the safety guidelines and instructions to do the job right. If they cannot finish a specific job before the day ends, allow them to complete the job the next day. A person’s health and safety is always more important than missing a deadline.
5. Conduct emergency drills
Emergency drills are an important tool for ensuring the safety of your staff. Safety drills help employees to learn how to handle emergencies without confusion and uncertainties. For example, in case of a fire, your employees should know how to move in an orderly fashion towards the nearest fire exits. Ensure everybody participates and pays attention to the drills (you included).
Workplace hazards can crop up at any time. While sometimes they may be unavoidable, you can take steps now to protect your employees, yourself and your business from such tragedies. You must ensure safety measures is a priority in your organization so that you and your employees can enjoy good health, job productivity, and satisfaction.
Zoe Campos says
I definitely agree with the part where you mentioned that keeping their environment neat and tidy can result in fewer accidents in the workplace. In my opinion, both employees and employers should work together to prevent possible injuries from happening especially when they work in a field that requires a lot of physical activity. It might also be better if the employer can offer insurance for workers’ compensation to ensure that the affected employee will be covered in cases of accidents that can’t be avoided.
Melissa Gold says
Hi, Zoe. Thanks for the input – all good ideas! Yes, a neat workplace is important for reducing the risk of injuries. Slip and fall injuries, items falling from shelves, trips over phone or computer cords, and other accidents can be avoided by making sure that things are tidy and where they should be.
To your point about accidents that can’t be avoided… the main benefit to workers’ compensation insurance is that it’s no-fault, which means that the employee must prove that they were injured at work, but negligence or fault isn’t required in order to receive benefits. An employee covered under workers’ compensation should receive benefits after an injury regardless of how the injury happened, provided it happened within the scope of their work duties or in the workplace.