Business owners/managers are concerned with the bottom-line – how much profit was generated? They are responsible for maximizing a business’s profits.
There are two ways to increase profits. One is to generate more products/services to sell. The other way is to reduce expenses.
Let’s consider how to reduce a typical business expense – worker’s compensation insurance as a way to increase business profits.
Preventing Workplace Injuries
Business owners/managers can help reduce worker’s compensation expenses by proactively implementing (and enforcing) safe-work policies that combine to create a reasonably safe work environment.
However, despite the enforcement of significant safe work policies, an injury can still happen at any time, on any day. A work-related injury can range from a minor cut (think paper cut) to a serious head injury at work. Any injury has the potential to become a worker’s compensation insurance claim. Employees injured at work should seek medical attention immediately, especially those who receive a head injury at work.
Businesses have the responsibility of creating a safe environment for employees. Implementing safety procedures for known work hazards helps workers avoid common work-related injuries and thus reduces potential worker’s compensation claims and associated expenses.
Consider these common work-related injuries when creating work-safe policies for your business.
Slip & Fall Accidents
A slip-and-fall accident is named as such because the injuries are caused by a slip on a wet floor or a cracked pavement, for example. A slip and fall accident may cause the victim to hit their head or injure their back in the fall. Businesses assume some risk in this regard while the company is open and operating.
Preventing Slip & Fall Accidents
Consider these ideas that may help prevent a slip and fall accident at work –
- Clean any spill when discovered; use caution signs for the spill and the clean-up.
- Install handrails and non-skid tape on heavy traffic areas.
- Encourage employees to wear a non-stick surface on the soles of their shoes.
Neck/Back Strains or Sprains
A neck or back strain is another common workplace injury that results in the misalignment of a spinal disc or related neck muscle. A strain can happen when an employee bends to pick up a delivery, even if the delivered package was light in weight. Some strains may need surgery or physical therapy to heal.
In addition, neck strains often happen to employees who spend enormous amounts of time on the phone during the workday.
Preventing Neck/Back Strains
Consider these ideas that may help prevent a back or neck strain
- Train employees on appropriate lifting practices to prevent injuries.
- Post reminder signs for employees.
- Determine weight limits for lifting using the NIOSH – the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- Provide safety lifting braces and electronic lift aids whenever possible.
Repetitive Use Injuries
Repetitive use injuries have become one of the most common work-related injuries and sources of worker’s compensation claims. Any movement that is done all day – every day – without appropriate rest, ergonomics, and conditioning is likely to lead to a repetitive use injury.
One such example is typing, which leads to carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful inflammatory condition of the wrist.
Repetitive tasks in manufacturing, food processing, or administration offer high risk for employees.
Preventing Repetitive Use Injuries
Consider these ideas that may help prevent repetitive use injuries
- Set up breaks throughout the day to help employees step away from a repetitive task.
- Set up ergonomic workstations for each employee based on the employee’s size and job.
- Set up health prevention programs for employees during the workday.
- Automate where possible to help mitigate repetitive use injuries.
Cuts and lacerations happen in any kind of office or work environment. A cut or laceration can result from a box cutter or a letter opener and may be severe enough to require stitches. Many office machines are built without regard to the machine’s sharp edges. Businesses must ensure these machines are placed in a location that minimizes risk.
Consider these ideas that may help prevent cuts and lacerations at work
- Set forth business policies that determine which tools can be used and who is authorized to use them.
- Offer regular safety training for employees.