Illnesses and injuries have rose to $60 billion. The top 10 list of workplace injuries have contributed to the $51.4 billion total amount in injury cases, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.
Overexertion is one of the leading causes of workplace injury followed by repetitive motion injuries. Some of the other most common workplace injuries include carrying, holding, lifting, pulling, or pushing heavy objects.
Did you know that some or all of these workplace injuries cost businesses $14 billion a year? Falls are not far behind most of these injuries, making up for $11.2 billion or 19.2% of workplace injuries.
Employers are responsible for these costs even if they have insurance. But without a plan in place, your business is prone to accidents and injuries.
These expensive costs have a negative impact on employee health, productivity, and revenue. Here are seven ways you can improve workplace safety while reducing costs.
1. Train Your Employees
The most important way to improve workplace safety is to train your employees. Think about how often do you emphasize the importance of workplace safety. Does it happen annually, monthly, quarterly, or weekly? If you want to to improve workplace safety then you need to make a regular part of your company’s culture.
Find out the underlying cause of workplace injuries. Survey your employees to find ways to improve equipment and work design. Hiring an occupational health expert can also be one of the best ways to train your employees. Once you understand your workplace safety weaknesses, you can implement a training program that improves the company culture.
Ongoing training an important part of improving workplace safety. That includes making sure that all of your employees receive access to safety training no matter their position.
2. Implement Safety Protocols
Workplace safety starts from when you launch your business or when you hire a new employee. A safe workplace involves employees who perform their jobs while following safety procedures. You can work with physical therapists who can analyze the physical demands that are placed on your employees. Then you can use this information for functional testing and job analyses.
You should also schedule regular meetings to discuss prevention and safety rules. In the event that something happens, your employees will know exactly what to do. Remember it’s your responsibility to encourage a safe workplace.
3. Reward Them For Good Behavior
Rewards are a small and effective way to encourage workplace safety. It also keeps them engaged with the workplace, which can reduce workplace injuries. Small rewards include a gift card to a restaurant or the movie theaters. You should hand out rewards to employees who demonstrate the safety policies.
4. Partner With Local Occupational Companies
You can also hire occupational companies that can offer advice on workplace injury and prevention. These companies have clinicians who monitor your workplace and inform of you any areas that are at high risk for injury. You can also work with occupational and physical therapists who can teach your employees about the importance of workplace ergonomics. You can also determine which candidates are best-suited for physically demanding roles.
5. Hang Labels & Signs
Signs and labels are a great way to encourage workplace safety. Not only are they affordable, but they’re also extremely effective. They use a combination of images and power words to warn employees about potential hazards and teach them on the proper procedures. These can be great reminders and warnings for even novice employees.
6. Keep Your Work Area Clean
A messy workplace can increase your risk of accidents and injuries. If you work in a warehouse, make sure that all boxes are neatly stacked. Or, if you work in a kitchen, then you want to make sure that spills are cleaned up as soon as possible. You should also have a regular inspection to watch out for potential hazards such as disorganized tools, messy floors, and tangled cords.
7. Encourage Regular Breaks
Breaks are important for increasing employee morale and productivity. They can also improve employee health and workplace ergonomics. Just a 15-minute walk or stretch break can help loosen joints and reduce tensions. In fact, the use of regular movement has been shown to be more effective than stretching in one place. This can decrease an employee’s chance of repetition injury. So, encourage your employees to take a walk.