Workplace injuries and illnesses cost companies an astonishing $170 billion per year in treatment costs. By taking the time to develop proper safety procedures, you can reduce your annual costs by approximately 20 to 40 percent, leaving more money to be used for development, growth, or other key business areas.
If you are looking to get serious about preventing workplace injuries and illnesses, start with these key areas.
Proper Materials Handling Techniques
The most common cause of workplace injuries revolves around the improper handling of various workplace materials. This can include receiving shipments, moving products, or carrying various items. While many people believe these sorts of injuries are more common in industrial work, they are also quite common in other environments. This risk is present in manufacturing, retail, construction, shipping, and many other industries. Issues can even present in traditional office environments when employees must move pieces of equipment, shifting office furniture, or carrying a box of files.
Improper lifting and carrying techniques can lead to a wide variety of injuries, ranging from strains and sprains to contusions and fractures. Even the smallest workplace injuries of this nature can set a company back over $15,000, while more serious injuries can easily cross $50,000.
By educating employees on proper materials handling techniques, you can lower the risk of injury. Provide onsite training on a regular basis and keep accessible reading materials available at all times. Include injury prevention in your new employee orientations, and make sure to review the information often.
Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are another common source of injury with a wide range of potential consequences. Along with all of the risks that can exist with materials handling, injuries of this nature can also lead to more serious injuries including, but not limited to, concussions and joint dislocations. If employees work at elevation, the risks increase further. In certain circumstances, a fall can even result in death.
In order to protect employees from the risks associated with slips, trips, and falls, make sure all walkways are clear at all times. Do not allow cables and power cords to cut across walking paths without being properly covered or secured. Make sure any spills that can cause a walking surface to become slick are marked immediately with appropriate warning signage and cleaned up as quickly as possible.
If employees must work at elevation, make sure proper safety procedures are reviewed prior to the activity taking place. This can include anything from ladder safety to the proper use of harnesses and other safety equipment.
Falling and Flying Objects
Falling or flying objects can also occur in any environment. A heavy item placed on a high shelf can fall if not properly secured, and workplaces with moving equipment may see items accidentally thrown across spaces. The risks associated with being struck by a falling or flying object vary greatly depending on the size and weight of the object, and the portion of the body being struck. While some contact may result in cuts or contusions, others may result in fractures, injuries associated with being crushed, dislocations, and even death.
As with other safety areas, proper training is key. If certain items should not be placed on upper shelves, support training efforts through the use of signage attached to the shelving in question. Make sure that any items that have the potential to become a falling or flying object are properly secured, or that safety equipment is worn if necessary.
By following the tips above, you will be well on your way to ensuring your employees are better equipped to avoid workplace injuries. If you are looking for more information about how you can make your workplace safer, contact Advance Staffing Solutions today for a consultation today.