Every manager and business owner has an important responsibility to ensure that their workers remain in good health and jovial spirits, but knowing how to comprehensively prevent employee injuries from occurring is no small feat. Workplace accidents lower company morale, lead to expensive lawsuits, degrade the quality of life of the workers involved, and are generally undesirable in every way, shape, and form. You’ll nevertheless want to be careful as you try to prevent them, as there are important legal guidelines you need to adhere to.
Here’s an analysis of how to prevent employee injuries, and why it’s imperative to put the wellbeing of your workers above all else.
Know the common causes of injury
The most important aspect of preventing employee injuries is familiarizing yourself with the common causes of injury to ensure that your workspace isn’t a hostile or hazardous one. The most common workplace injuries to be on the lookout for include overexertion, whether it’s physical stress or mentally draining your employees. Ensure that your workers who are tasked with physical work have frequent, short breaks that allow them to catch their breath and avoid overstraining their muscles. Having first aid equipment onsite can also mitigate the extent of an injury after it occurs.
Besides overexerting themselves, workers frequently come into harmful contact with equipment or heavy objects. Storing heavy objects in a high-up space can lead them to come tumbling down to the detriment of those below, for instance, and being unaware of moving equipment on a factory floor is one of the leading reasons that workers find themselves injured. Ensure that everybody is up to date on any equipment changes your company approves of and guarantee that each new employee knows their way around an active and hazardous area before allowing them unfettered access to it.
Finally, be aware of tripping and falls, things which impact all of us at some point or another. Making sure that ladders are properly placed and that employees know about the perils of working at heights are important steps to take if you don’t want to injure somebody. Know that injury at work can quickly devolve into lawsuits which financially endanger your company, so spending huge sums of cash to protect workers is always a safe bet, not to mention a morally praiseworthy action.
Besides knowing the common causes of injury, there are many other steps you can take to ensure that the risk of injuries to employees are reduced from the very get-go.
Have a safety and wellness plan
Besides covering the basics during company training sessions, you should have a company-wide safety and wellness plan that looks after your workers. Enabling people to clearly and easily report hazardous behavior, for instance, is an important part of letting workers know that they’re in control of their own destinies and won’t be punished for reporting dangerous working conditions. Transparency and accountability are the name of the game, and those companies which shun them will suffer sooner rather than later.
If you’re struggling to form a company-wide safety plan, don’t be afraid to read up on the examples of others to more effectively create your own. You should also be conducting pre-placement physicals to ensure that those workers who do end up joining your team are qualified and in good health before you put them in a potentially dangerous situation. Screen applicants closely to ensure that they can safely and effectively pick up heavy objects before putting them in your warehouse. Ensure that drivers of company vehicles have clean license records and no substance abuse issues. By taking small pre-emptive steps like this, you’ll be putting out raging legal fires before they ever ignite and consume your company.
Constantly educating employees may sound expensive, but it’s a small price to pay compared to the lawsuits you’ll be grappling with if you force workers into hazardous conditions without preparing them ahead of time. New equipment should be thoroughly explained to everybody who may have to work with it, and new safety protocols should be widely proliferated whenever they’re conceived. It goes without saying that you’ll want to invest in stellar protective equipment to keep your workers’ bodies intact.
Follow these guidelines, and soon you’ll be preventing more employee injuries than ever before.