Accidents Happen. Learn the top five way to prevent accidents at work and related injuries.
First, ensure all employees complete site-specific training. Training should be completed on a regular basis and must cover a wide range of topics in order to address workplace hazards that employees will face on a daily basis. The training material should instruct employees on how to follow safety procedures based on the specific hazards associated with their job.
Second, all employees need to wear personal protective equipment as issued. This could be safety eyewear, earplugs, a back brace, harness, face shield, etc. Personal protective equipment is often the first line of defense in preventing workplace accidents. If personal protective equipment is not worn properly, then it could expose an employee to a workplace hazard that may result in an injury.
Third, focus on ergonomics. Repetitive stress injuries caused by common, everyday tasks can be a significant hazard. Conducting an ergonomic assessment of the office and operational hazards can help to minimize the exposure to employees. Providing employees with ergonomic tools is also important. This may encompass an anti-fatigue floor mat, an ergonomic keyboard/mouse, ergonomic chair, etc.
Fourth, it is essential to take steps to minimize slips, trips, and falls. Keeping aisles clear of obstacles, providing adequate lighting, and using slip-resistant flooring are tools that can help ensure the workplace environment is free from hazards associated with slip, trips, and falls.
Fifth, create a culture of safety. Once employees are well trained and have the equipment to do their job safely and effectively, then it is essential to create a culture where employees are advocates for safety. Each employee should feel empowered to help identify safety concerns and communicate opportunities for improvement to his or her supervisor.
A final factor in minimizing the impact of an accident at work is for an injured employee immediately report an injury to his or her supervisor. After reporting an injury, an employee should seek medical treatment immediately. An injured employee should seek treatment from a physician specializing in occupational injuries. In some states, like New York, you have to find a doctor has to be authorized by the NYS Workers Compensation Board. Several benefits exist from employees that seek treatment immediately following an injury. These benefits include less missed time from work as well as a quicker return to full duty than employees that do not seek immediate treatment for the same injury. The workers’ compensation insurance should cover most of the medical treatment as they relate to on-the-job injuries. The total cost of treatment for injured employees that seek immediate medical treatment is less than injured employees that do not report their injury or seek treatment until later.
In summary, by following the above strategies, an organization can minimize common accidents and resulting injuries in the workplace.