A person is about to step on a banana peel

Workplace accidents are often preventable.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Workplace injuries are some of the worst, most debilitating injuries person can suffer. If you are a business owner employing people in that environment, then you need to be very aware of the risks and safety protocols in order to avoid injuries. On-the-job injuries are costly, both in time, money and welfare. The National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries lists thousands of avoidable workplace deaths, with nonfatal accidents being much higher(and often unreported). Any accident should be avoided at all possible costs. This article will go through a few simple steps which would make your business or workplace a lot safer.

Get The Right Equipment
It’s all too tempting to think that either you, or your employees can lift heavy loads constantly, all day. Even if you determine that this isn’t the best course, there will always be one person in the workplace who feels that they know better. For those people you need to make it very clear that lifting heavy loads is not be done without the right equipment. If you are involved in manufacturing or warehousing, then you need specialist equipment in order to carry the loads. For instance, an air balancer is going to make more of a difference to your workplace productivity than a handful of burly guys who want to impress each other.

Heavy load is transported, high above workers

Heavy load is transported, high above workers
Photo courtesy Pixabay

Prevent Accidents before they start
There is a reason we call serious injuries “accidents”: No one expects them to ever happen. Safety protocols are vital, and safeguards should not be ignored to improve productivity. Have employees use eye protection, hearing protection, and even load arrestors to prevent crushing deaths. For every kind of workplace injury listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are products and protocols that will pay for themselves many times over.

Encourage Your Employees To Work A Decent Schedule
It’s not enough that you tell your employees what to do. It’s not enough that you set your schedule, or their schedules. You need to make sure that once you have a workplace protocol for safety and everyone sticks to it. A lot of the time people cut corners because they want to save time or effort. But those corners can be incredibly costly when somebody injures their back and can’t work for months at a time. Encourage all workers; make it a necessity that workplace protocol is followed strictly in regards to health and safety.

Have Them Attend Training Days
Workplace accidents don’t just happen when someone is deliberately skirting the rules a lot of workplace accidents happen because employees don’t know better. They are and wilfully ignorant of the potential dangers. That’s why health and safety training is essential in any business. It doesn’t really matter if you are involved in manufacturing or you’re a simple warehouse or office based company: mistakes will be made, because nobody is perfect. You need to mitigate these mistakes by providing training.

Encourage Their Health and Fitness
The biggest cause of workplace injury is in fact nothing to do with the culture of a company. It’s more to do with the fact that people are generally unhealthy and so any small flaws in the system can cause big problems. In the workplace, you need to promote a relaxed environment so it decreases stress, and you need to encourage your employees to live a healthy lifestyle. Whether that’s providing healthy food for them during their lunch breaks, or perhaps subsidising a gym membership, improving your employees health means that your business will be healthier as well.

Support Mental Health
Flared tempers or jilted lovers can lead to physical violence at the workplace. While some of these are only minor skirmishes, there are many that lead to serious physical injuries. The Government’s statistics show some of the highest workplace mortality rates are due to violence. To prevent this, companies should provide their workers with anger management training on top of making sure they know how to determine and report suspicious situations that could erupt in violence.

Prevent Falling
Jobs that have employees climbing on ladders or roofs often face medical bills from those that suffer from the tumbles. Sometimes it’s even caused by faulty equipment. Preventing this is more of a two-fold scenario. The first step is to make sure every single worker is trained to both attach safety objects to themselves and use the safety equipment. The second is that the equipment is regularly checked for any potential weaknesses. Should some be found, they need to then be replaced immediately.

Prevent Slipping
Of all the preventable workplace accidents, slipping is the one thing that can’t ever truly be eradicated due to gravity. We walk upright, not on the ground. If we are thrown off balance, there’s a chance we will be pulled to the earth. Even so, there are things that can be done. Workspaces should be kept clean so that there is no debris cluttering walking areas. Slick surfaces should be covered in non-slip mats. Workers should have to wear non-slip shoes. Signs need to be erected around areas where spills have happened. Sudden changes in floor gradation should be well-lit and clearly marked. The janitorial staff should be quick to respond to all requests for clean ups.

No one ever plans an accident. And few employers give the proper focus on accident prevention until there has been an accident. But with the proper protocols and equipment, accidents can indeed be minimized – and deaths prevented. Employers that invest in injury prevention will enjoy lower legal costs, lower health care costs, and most of all happier workers! After all, any injury impacts coworkers, families – even communities.