Four Easy Tips to Improve Workplace Safety
Workplace injuries and illnesses can take a toll on a small business, ranging from lower productivity to higher costs associated with workers’ compensation insurance. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), implementing a workplace safety plan is one of the most important steps businesses can take to manage their risks and prevent workers from getting hurt or sick.
At EMPLOYERS, we approach workplace safety strategically, with an eye toward reducing claims and controlling insurance-related costs for policyholders.
Here are four quick tips to help you get started establishing a safe workplace:
- Evaluate potential risks. “Walk the floors” of your business regularly to spot potential hazards. This includes observing workers performing the tasks associated with their jobs as well as any potential situational risks. For example, if you own restaurant with a soda fountain, make sure your employees routinely check for spills that could cause workers to slip, trip, or fall. Thinking critically about how and where your employees could get injured is important in mitigating the risks associated with potential hazards.
- Plan and problem-solve. Once you’ve identified a potential hazard, write it down and share the procedures that employees should follow to reduce the safety risk. Often times, the solutions are simple and straightforward. For example, in the above case of wet floors, make sure employees know where to access a mop and bucket for quick clean-ups, and post appropriate signage to warn people about wet spots on the floor.
- Practice makes permanent. Reinforce proper procedures by making sure workers are practicing safety procedures. Ask your workers’ compensation insurance carrier or agent for available training materials they may be able to provide. Some offer industry-specific materials on topics such as accident investigations and blood-borne pathogen risks. OSHA is also an excellent source for additional resources.
- Remind. Placing signage in breakrooms and around areas of high-risk, like hot stove tops or grills, helps keep safety polices front and center for all workers. OSHA provides safety information and posters that can be accessed online at no charge. Your workers’ compensation carrier may also have materials to help keep your workplace safe.
While these tips are good reminders for business owners, we also recommend designing and implementing a comprehensive safety plan to help reduce workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. It may also help control workers’ compensation costs and improve business productivity. As a business owner, you can help protect your employees and your business by demonstrating your commitment to safety and regularly reinforcing the important role everyone has in creating a safe working environment. You can find additional information in our whitepaper – Loss Control: Creating a Culture of Workplace Safety, or contact your insurance carrier.