Every 7 seconds an American worker is injured. That statistic from the National Safety Council is shocking, isn’t it? Regardless of the industry, you as an employer have the opportunity to lower the risk of potential injury within your organization. If you’re not sure how to do it, these five work injury prevention tips are a great starting point.
1. For workplace injury prevention, organize work areas
In addition to helping your company look good when existing or prospective clients are on-site, a well-organized work area helps to minimize safety risks. An obvious example is if items are put haphazardly on the manufacturing floor then they can be a tripping hazard.
Furthermore, slip and fall injuries can happen if liquids aren’t cleaned up right away. Another scenario is items thrown across overhead shelves that could fall at any time and seriously harm someone.
Rather than creating dangerous opportunities like those described above, store heavy objects low (out of the way on the floor) rather than high so there’s not the risk of them falling on a person. Also, keep walkways clear for easy movement around the facility, especially if there are machines around.
Avoiding all tripping issues and clearing up spills right away is an important part of minimizing risks in an industrial setting, as well as being a great work injury prevention tip for any office or other business location.
The time spent rearranging items is well worth it for safety purposes.
2. Do your homework on the risks
Every workplace has its unique set of vulnerabilities. For instance, lifeguards at public pools and beaches could be in the position to have to save someone from drowning and perform CPR.
Given that you know they might one day have to do CPR, it’s imperative to teach them the basics; it’s in everyone’s best interests. To plan ahead for this life-saving activity, invest in a CPR training manikin so that your employed lifeguards can practice the procedures to ensure they know how to properly administer CPR in time of need.
Alternatively, perhaps your business focuses on wastewater treatment. It involves biological hazards, specifically sewage. This type of work increases workers’ risks of getting sick from waterborne illnesses, so you’ll want to look not only at what equipment to provide them but also how to maintain it and about vaccinations.
By looking in-depth at the positions within your organization, you can start to determine specific risks and then determine how best to minimize them.
3. Do things properly
As you read through these work injury prevention tips, you might be thinking about your budget (or lack of). While it’s tempting to cut corners, it’s not advisable though.
If you don’t get new machinery for your plastics plant, for example, it could malfunction and significantly lower your monthly output, which means your biz loses money. Or, your agriculture storage could collapse under the weight of snow or other severe weather in your region if you don’t invest in sturdy fabric storage buildings like those from CalhounSuperStructure.com and hurt someone who is inside at the time of the incident.
4. Create a safety plan
The most important reason to establish a safety plan is to lower the risk of worker harm. It will also reduce your worker comp expenses.
The first part of the process is to look at ways to improve your workplaces, such as inadequate lighting or tripping hazards. Once you figure out what injuries could come from what you see, then you can start to brainstorm ways to address those issues.
Next, complete a job safety analysis. Read over on-the-job procedures, from what each position involves to what are the possible hazards and safety controls already in place. Ensure the safety policies and actions already in place cover everything and update them to reflect anything new you see to do.
When an accident happens, analyze why and how best to prevent it from occurring again. Always look to improve in safety and otherwise when you’re running your own business.
5. Another workplace injury prevention strategy: Educate your employees
Make sure everyone on your team, whether they’re in supervisory roles or not, understands safety guidelines. Provide courses to get them up to speed on what you expect on the job safety-wise.
Additional training might be necessary for certain positions, depending on your industry. For instance, team members may benefit from undergoing fire extinguisher training, first aid, OSHA 10 online training, proper propane use in construction, and other industry-specific programs.
If you are looking for online classes for CPR and other injury prevention topics, check CPR Select. Also, make sure safety policies are printed out or easily available online to read if anyone in the organization wants to do so.
You might even consider holding safety talks monthly. This is when you can inform employees as a group of any first aid updates and encourage safe practices.
Lastly, ask your crew what they see is working policy-wise and what hasn’t been addressed yet in terms of risks from their point of view. They’ll appreciate being a part of the process and you’ll benefit from getting other viewpoints that might bring up things you hadn’t thought of before.