Workplace accidents are a common occurrence. In 2021, one U.S. worker died every 101 minutes, according to the U.S Department of Labor. The good news is that most incidents are often preventable. We’ve provided 7 ways employers can help minimize and even prevent workplace injuries and fatalities. Such as providing quality safety training, enforcing the use of PPE, and even as simple as workers taking breaks throughout the day.
1. Implement an Injury & Illness Prevention Program
The first step in preventing workplace injuries is to implement an Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) – a document outlining the details of the company safety procedures. Implementing an injury and illness prevention program can reduce injuries by 15 to 35 percent for employers (OSHA). Cal OSHA requires most employers to implement an IIPP. If an employer does not have an “operative” IIPP, they are not eligible for discretionary discounts on any citations received from an investigation. Discretionary discounts may cost the employer thousands of dollars.
Don’t have an IIPP in place? OSTS will develop your company-specific IIPP as required by Cal OSHA, CCR Title 8 Section 3203, 1509, and 1510. Learn more about this program.
2. Invest in Workplace Safety Training
Many injuries are often preventable, and can be avoided if an effective safety training regimen is implemented and maintained. It gives employees the skills and knowledge to do their work safely and avoids creating hazards that could place themselves and others at risk. Employees want to learn new skills! In fact, a 2019 LinkedIn survey showed that 94 percent of employees would stay with a company longer if it invested in helping them learn. Safety training also allows employees to be more aware and understand workplace hazards and how to identify, report, and control them. Check out our blog post How Workplace Safety Training Benefits Your Business to learn more about the benefits of safety training.
3. Maintain Good Workplace Housekeeping
A neat and tidy work environment is not just for aesthetics, it can help reduce workplace hazards and increase efficiency. It’s also vital to maintain housekeeping throughout the workday. Good housekeeping helps prevent injuries from slips, trips, and falls, falling objects and fire hazards.
4. Inspect and Maintain Equipment Often
Faulty equipment or a broken machine can cause an injury at work by malfunctioning and causing unexpected movements, releasing hazardous materials, or exposing workers to sharp or jagged edges.
5. Encourage Employees to Report Safety Hazards to Help Prevent Workplace Accidents
Employees should report safety concerns and hazards to their supervisor or safety manager. Reporting these issues can help the employer recognize and identify potential safety concerns, preventing future accidents and injuries and can lead to improvements in safety protocols.
6. Allow Workers to Take Breaks Throughout Day
Overexertion is one of the top causes of an injury at work, according to National Safety Council. Taking breaks can help workers reduce fatigue, improve focus, and decrease the risk of workplace accidents caused by rushing or distraction. Breaks also allow workers to stretch or change positions, helping to prevent physical issues associated with prolonged sitting or standing.
7. Provide Personal Protective Equipment to Employees
To minimize employee exposure to hazards that cause serious injuries and illnesses, employers should provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and enforce workers to use it. However, PPE should be considered as a last resort to protect employees from identified hazards. Employers should first attempt to eliminate hazards through elimination, substitution, engineering, and/or administrative controls. If these controls are not feasible nor effective, then the employer should evaluate the need and effectiveness of PPE.Practicing good workplace safety habits and investing in an occupational safety training company like OSTS can help eliminate and reduce safety-related incidents. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.