Taking steps to reduce the risk of on-the-job injuries is primarily your employer’s responsibility. There are many reasons why it’s important a company take steps to prevent workplace injuries – lost productivity time and higher workers’ compensation insurance rates are a couple that come to mind.
It’s important an employer prove they are being proactive and taking appropriate measures to prevent workplace injuries. Not only will they save lots of money on their workers’ compensation insurance, they will also have a healthier workforce that’s more productive…which can potentially translate into higher wages for you and your coworkers.
So how can my employer and I reduce the risk of an on-the-job injury?
One way employers can do this, with your help of course, is to hire a safety professional to come in and inspect the premises. These “industrial hygienists” help discover ways to reduce or eliminate potential hazards. One way they do this is to evaluate previous workers’ compensation claims and observe employee behavior.
You or your employer can request the state to regularly send inspectors in to inspect the worksite for potential hazards like poor lighting, small leaks and other minor things you can fix quickly.
Another way to prevent injuries, especially in offices, is to practice good ergonomics. Heavy machinery or heights are not the only causes of workplace injury. Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or neck strains are just as common. Demand fully adjustable chairs and computer monitors. In a warehouse environment, use proper shelving to minimize the risk of lower back injuries.
Developing a safety committee is another way your company can minimize the risk of on-the-job injuries. This committee can keep an eye-out for potential safety hazards and alert management to any actions that require its attention. Committee members should also provide easy access to protective gear and ensure the employer properly displays safety information.
Finally, if an injury does occur, it helps to document everything as soon as practically possible. Quickly reporting and documenting an injury will signal to insurers that your company is responsible and not trying to hide accidents…doing so can have dire consequences for your employer.
The reality is your employer spends a lot of money to cover you and your fellow workers against on-the-job injuries. These costs cannot be too high as it can affect how many workers your company has, how much you’re paid and what advancement opportunities present themselves within the company.