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Print Shops and Workers’ Compensation Insurance


It may come as a surprise, but the printing industry is estimated to ship more than $170 billion a year in goods, and it employs over one million people in approximately 39,000 establishments across the country1. This means there is a large number of workers who are exposed to the potential workplace hazards of a print shop each day. Floors can become littered with loose paper and oily chemicals. Frequently used items such as ink and solvents, like xylene, contain hazardous chemicals which may be inhaled, splashed into eyes, or absorbed into the skin. Rags soaked with these materials may also pose a potential fire hazard. Printing presses themselves are dangerous machines, and when used incorrectly, can entangle hair, clothing, fingers, and limbs, resulting in injury and fatalities.

Print shops employ press operators, material handlers, shipping workers, and general laborers. Most workers handle heavy loads consisting of paper, boxes, printed materials, and cans of ink and chemicals. As a result, these workers’ can sustain sprains and strains from lifting or other motion related injuries. Print shop owners can help mitigate workplace injuries by instituting workplace safety programs which can result in fewer claims and help lower workers’ compensation insurance rates.

When injuries do occur, employers can help reduce their costs by effectively managing the injury and recovery process. This means getting the injured employee the medical attention he or she needs, as well as providing the employee with temporary transitional work if he or she has limitations established by a doctor.

A print shop with a good workers’ compensation insurance policy can realize greater value for each premium dollar spent by taking advantage of value-added services offered by their insurance carrier such as loss control services and managed care services. With better employee training, and with the proper precautions, they might never have to utter the words “stop the presses.”

To find out more about EMPLOYERS® value-added services such as Loss Control ConnectionSM and Managed Care Services, click here.

1) “Careers in Graphic Communications,” Printing Industries of America, 2013, (Link no longer available.).