Maintaining a safe workplace, improving productivity, and lowering your workers' compensation premiums all start in the same place: decreasing your employees' risk of injury. The fewer workers' comp claims you file, the lower your experience modification rate (EMR) will be—which translates to lower premiums. Furthermore, you'll save money because you won't have to replace injured employees, experience temporary productivity loss, repair broken equipment, or stop work to investigate an incident.
Workers' compensation safety tips like these will help prevent accidents and improve your bottom line.
Regularly Inspect for Hazards
You can't assess once for hazards and assume you're safe. New employees, new equipment, new processes, correct safety processes not being followed, schedule changes, updated regulations and more can create new risks.
Areas in need of housekeeping and Equipment in need of maintenance can go unnoticed if it's not inspected regularly. Long-term employees can grow complacent about the actions they take every day, comfortable in the fact they haven't had an accident—yet.
Audit and inspection software provides an efficient process to locate hazards before they cause costly incidents, assign corrective actions and identify trends over time. Transparency and accountability improve inspection quality, on-time completion rates and overall completion rates.
Provide and Use the Correct PPE
OSHA requires employees to use PPE "...wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact."
It's essential for employees to be trained in how to select, use, inspect and maintain their PPE properly.
Of course, you need to train new employees, but you need to re-train your long-term workers, too. This is true when you get new equipment or adopt new processes, but it's also important to offer refresher courses on the procedures and safety training they use every day. E-learning software makes it easy to get new employees up to speed quickly, it allows for self-directed learning and it provides a way to standardize training and track their training progress.
Incident Reporting (e.g. near miss, hazardous condition, property damage, first aid, illness and injury)
Employees should report all incidents and near misses. Unfortunately, near misses often go unreported because employees are afraid of being blamed for the incident or the reporting process is too complicated.
Develop a strong culture of safety to help ensure your employees don't fear repercussions from reporting. Make the reporting process easy by using incident management software. Create a Stop Work Authority Program so employees understand what steps to take if they identify a hazard in the middle of their work process.
Identify and Label Hazards
Employees have the right to know what materials they're working with and to understand the risks associated with them. All chemicals must be labeled and have an associated safety data sheet.
There are also signs for ongoing workplace hazards, like slow moving vehicles, biological hazards, and more. OSHA carefully outlines all required tags and labels.
Recognize the Human Factor
Stress, anxiety, and fatigue can impact an employee's attention span, reaction time, concentration, and more. What's going on in their personal lives may be "none of your business" as an employer, but the way it affects them certainly is.
While you can't control what happens for employees personally, there are steps employers can take to help avoid compounding issues. Try to reduce or limit long, rotating, or overtime shifts; employees who increase their workload and those who don't get enough sleep are both at higher risk of workplace injury. Schedule regular breaks in the workday. Consider implementing a workplace wellness program to incentivize employees to adopt habits that help them reduce stress and stay healthy.
Mitigating workplace risks has far-reaching effects for your revenue and the health and happiness of your employees. We can provide the EHS Software you need to implement these workers' comp safety tips and strategies to create a safer workplace and ultimately lower your workers' comp claims and premiums.
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