How to Prevent Workers' Compensation Injuries
Your employees' job descriptions do not include getting injured, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It’s common for workers to sustain injuries on the job, which is why most states require businesses to carry workers' compensation insurance. Even if you have Workers’ Compensation insurance, you should still take steps to assure employee safety.
Your employees are precious to you (or at least we hope so). However, employee injuries can also cause your business much trouble. While the workers’ compensation insurance company is paying a portion of the injured employee’s salary and covering the medical bills, your business will miss their contributions to the team.
While one work comp claim may not raise your premiums, if there is a frequency or severity trend with your company’s employee injuries, you will see your premium rise. As a business, we don’t want our employees to be injured at work either. - Nor do we want accidents to raise our insurance premiums. It is common to see these fears when managing hundreds of workers' compensation policies.
Here are five common workplace injuries, along with preventative measures.
Injury 1: Injury While Using Equipment
Getting tangled in heavy machinery is one of the most terrifying workplace injuries. An accident with machinery or equipment that catches an employee’s jewelry or clothing could be deadly, resulting in severe or disabling injury, if not death.
How to prevent:
- Ensure that employees are fully trained on equipment before they operate it
- Recognize potential hazards and communicate loss prevention steps to be taken
- Inspect equipment before operating, assure good working condition of safety guards,electrical cords and emergency shut off switches.
- Employee dress code requiring proper footwear, no loose clothing or loose jewelry to be worn when operating machinery
- Supply Personal Protective Equipment and train employees in its use, according to OSHA standards
Injury 2: Performing micro tasks repetitively
Repeated small-range movements can cause repetitive motion injuries. It’s possible to develop neck injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome from even the most mundane tasks, such as working on an assembly line. Our list of 5 preventable workplace injuries includes these, even though they are probably the most minor.
How to prevent:
- Consult with an ergonomic expert to avoid repetitive motion injuries and follow recommendations
- Provide braces or support wearables to minimize strains
- Require employees to take breaks from these repetitive tasks
- Rotate employees and tasks to avoid overuse of body parts
Injury 3: Explosions & fires
Explosions and fires are among the deadliest workplace accidents. The risks associated with explosions and fires are severe, so employers and workers must take these threats seriously. Fires and explosions can occur when dust accumulates on machines, power sockets overload, and combustible materials like paper and flammable liquids are improperly stored. Added to this is the potential danger of not monitoring these substances and how they are stored, used, and disposed of, all of which can cause an explosive atmosphere in the workplace if not appropriately managed.
How to prevent:
- Employee training in the proper use of, storage, and disposal
- Protect workers by providing them with personal protective equipment and require its use per OSHA regulations· Maintain a separation between heat sources and fuel sources.
- Use appropriate fireproof storage containers for flammable substances
Injury 4: Overexertion-Sprain, Strain
Often, overexertion is caused by lifting objects, pushing, pulling, carrying, etc. Injuries to the musculoskeletal system occur as a result of physical overexertion. High-risk industries include construction, food processing, firefighting, office work, healthcare, transportation, and warehousing.
Using material handling aids (hand trucks, dolly, and hoist), utilizing proper body mechanics, maintaining neutral postures, planning, and asking for assistance are all standard ergonomic methods to prevent overexertion.
How to Prevent:
- Provide training to workers on proper lifting techniques.
- Ergonomic and assistive equipment should be provided to workers.
- Ensure they get enough rest and recovery time during their breaks.
Injury 5: Slips, Trips, and Falls
Approximately 25% of workplace injuries result from slip and fall accidents. The majority of slips and falls are preventable during the outdoor winter months. In addition to signage and surface preparation, a safety tip that can help prevent injury when walking on ice and snow surfaces is to wear traction cleats (crampons) over your shoes. Taking them on and off is easy, lightweight, and affordable. Workplace slips and falls can also take many forms.
Employees may slip and fall on workplace floors, platforms, roofs, and scaffolding. Preventing slip and fall hazards and accidents begins with designing work processes, training employees, and keeping the workplace clean.
How to Prevent:
- Require appropriate footwear for the job duties performed
- Train staff to report and get spills cleaned up immediately
- Use hazard warning cones where ever there is a potential fall hazard
- Make sure electrical cords are secured, if necessary, on walkways. To make it easy to spot them, use brightly colored, reflective hazard tape to secure the cords to the floor
- Debris on the floor should not be allowed to accumulate in walkways or work areas.
Get workers' compensation with InsuranceAdvisor
A business owner's job includes providing a safe workplace and, whenever possible, preventing injuries. But when an employee gets hurt, turn to your workers’ compensation insurance agency and insurance company to help you through the claim process.
An independent insurance agency like InsuranceAdvisor.com can save you and your business time, energy, and money. Contact us now for more details.
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