Just as young children beginning their educational journey, the implementation of a successful safety program as part of your integrative workers comp management practices involves a thorough foundation in the basics of workplace injury prevention. Do you know your workplace injury prevention ABCs?
There are 3 Main Ways to Prevent Workplace Injury
Are you using these building blocks to create a stable foundation within your company?
Developing and implementing proper rules and procedures protects workers. Typically put into effect by owners or supervisors, these include:
- Chemical/cleaning product storage procedures.
- Limits on repetitive motion tasks/job rotation.
- Age limits for dangerous equipment operation.
- Protective equipment requirements (goggles, earplugs).
- Controls for reducing exposure to hazards (time limits for pesticide application, distance for x-rays).
B uilding Barriers
Mechanical controls such as shields or guards are the best way to prevent injuries in the workplace. Circumventing the need to rely on employees to make safe choices every time, these environmental changes make it easier to reliably control/prevent injuries. Examples include:
- Non-slip surfaces.
- Guards (on hot/sharp/dangerous equipment).
- Ventilation to preserve air quality.
- Personal protective equipment (safety clothing, respirators, gloves).
Communication with employees, including proper training, is essential to encouraging a safety culture and ensuring compliance. After all, a worker cannot apply knowledge he himself has not learned, such as the dangers of improperly stored chemicals or exposure to blood. Necessary communication can be implemented many ways:
- Hands-on/In-person training.
- Online training.
- Reminders on bulletin boards, hallways, and break areas.
Now you know your ABCs! Build a strong foundation and achieve workers comp management goals. Learn more with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
No matter how small your business, it's possible to minimize the health and financial impacts of workplace injuries. This can be accomplished with a team approach to workers comp management geared toward preventing injuries before they occur.
Integrating a Team Approach
What steps should you take to create a safer, more positive work environment for employees?
1. Engage E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E.
The most successful safety programs involve management and employee collaboration. Safety is everyone’s job. Encouraging employees to identify and report hazards and incidents here is key.
2. Ensure a Smooth Transition.
Tasking specific employees and managers with the implementation, maintenance and improvement portions of safety program components.
3. Honestly Assess.
Perform a top-to-bottom evaluation of your business, from equipment to activities, engaging with employees to learn their safety concerns. (And performing an evaluation again each time new operations, equipment or facilities are added.)
4. Take Action.
Identification and awareness are not enough. When hazards are identified, they must be quickly and safely controlled or removed. This includes fixing or replacing broken equipment, as well as adding new safety measures or changing operations – no matter how longstanding. Preventing even a single incident will likely cover associated costs – and then some!
5. Don’t Forego Formal Training.
Go beyond easily ignored reading materials to include live demonstrations, hazard identification and reporting procedures – even first-aid training - to ensure not only immersion and involvement, but also rapid response to incidents.
6. Earn ROI from RRI:
- Review your program regularly.
- Respond quickly to incidents and near-misses.
- Improve programs to correct dangerous situations.
Feeling alone? Join a team that can help you excel at meeting your workers comp management needs. Contact Minnesota Comp Advisor today.