November 30, 2017 by
Workplace safety is important during the holiday season. Stressing this topic can also reduce workers’ compensation program expenses. This is especially true as employees are decking the workplace halls — you want to avoid falla falls, falla falls, falls, falls falls!
The Real Expense of Workplace Safety
Failing to have a safe workplace impacts, everyone. Employees get injured; overtime costs go up; all employees get stressed. It also reduces productivity and adds unnecessary costs to the hiring and replacement of talented individuals who cannot return to work. It adds to healthcare costs in the United States and places an unnecessary burden on emergency rooms. Now is the time to prevent workplace injuries.
Slip, Trips and Falls in the Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks injuries and deaths that occur in the American workplace. Approximately 15% of all deaths in workers’ compensation settings occur when someone falls in a same level or multi-level incident. Only motor vehicle accidents account for more workplace deaths.
The economic impact of slip/fall injuries is astronomical. The National Safety Council estimates these types of injuries cost American industry over $13 billion per year. This averages out to be about $40,000 per incident. The consequence of poor training and safety compliance continues to grow. Interested and proactive claims management teams can make a difference and reverse this troubling trend. It also starts with educating insured on fall avoidance and other safety issues.
Creating a Culture of Safety
OSHA does require training for all employees subject to slip/fall dangers. Those interested in making a difference in their workplace need to go beyond the minimum requirements
Prevent same level slip and fall injuries:
- Keep work areas free of clutter, dust and other debris;
- Require employees to wear low-heeled shoes with no-slip surfaces;
- Ensure that rugs and mats have skid-proof backing;
- Avoid having non-tracked flooring installed in workspaces;
- Discourage horseplay in the workplace. This can include specifically prohibiting conduct that can result in slips, falls or other related injuries;
- Keep rooms free of clutter, especially on floors; and
- Use correct lighting in stairwells and hallways.
Employees working at heights such as catwalks, ladders, and scaffolding are in extreme danger for severe injury from falls. Important measures to implement in the workplace should include:
- Development and implementation of a fall protection program. This includes training and ongoing evaluation of safety measures for employees and management to use daily;
- Avoid unprotected side and openings. When these settings are unavoidable, use of a guardrail, safety net or fall arrest systems are paramount;
- Provide instruction on the safe posting and use of ladders;
- Purchase and require the use of OSHA compliant ladders when engaging in workplace activities; and
- Inspection of ladders and scaffolding before and after all use.
While this list is not all-inclusive, there needs to be a proactive approach to employee safety when working at heights. It is also important to engage management on these issues and foster a culture of compliance with safety procedures and injury avoidance.
The holiday season should be a time of joy and gratitude—not emergency room visits. While slip/fall injuries will never be eliminated, they can be avoided. Taking a proactive approach reduces workers’ compensation costs and allows people to focus on the holiday season.
Read more: www.ReduceYourWorkersComp.com Stop the Workplace Falls While Decking the Halls! http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/2017/11/stop-the-workplace-falls-while-decking-the-halls/#ixzz50QdWkZ1s
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