A workplace injury occurs every 7 seconds. Unfortunately, most injuries are preventable, and the fault often lies with the employer rather than the worker.
Injury prevention programs help keep the workplace safe and reduce the risk of unnecessary injuries. Maintaining a safe workplace is a legal requirement, but there are other benefits to refreshing your health and safety program.
If you want to improve the workplace environment, productivity, cost efficiency, and look after your employees, you need to learn more about employee injury prevention programs.
Read on to learn how to create a safer workplace for all.
What Is an Employee Injury Prevention Program?
It’s no secret that engaged, healthy employees, are the key to a successful business. But what happens when your employees are ill, injured, or unhappy at work? Productivity falls, employee retention hits an all-time low, and the associated costs are excessive.
So, it’s in everyone’s best interests to prevent workplace injury – but sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Not anymore, you can reduce the number and severity of injuries in the workplace.
Employee injury prevention programs have a few essential elements:
- Hazard analysis
- Team safety training
- Early symptom recognition and intervention
- Return to work coaching
- Comprehensive injury reporting processes
- Real-time data analytics and program evaluation
The responsibility of implementing these programs is with the employer. But, it would help if you encouraged engagement with the employees. Health and safety matters aren’t considered a fun topic for many workers, so you must clarify how it will benefit them.
Many practices in an injury prevention program will already be in place. Still, a new scheme gives you a chance to consolidate all aspects of health and safety into one accessible protocol.
Improved Environment and Productivity
No matter where the workplace is, there will be safety risks, and employees know it. Office workers complain of strained eyes, and laborers risk extreme physical injuries every day. So prioritizing safety in the workplace is essential to make employees more comfortable at work.
Looking after employee’s health and wellness is paramount to a happy workforce. When your employees are happy and free from injury, their team morale, productivity, and engagement will naturally be high.
It’s your responsibility to make sure working conditions are safe, but that can be difficult if you’re not on the floor 40 hours a week. You should encourage employees to look out for hazards and report injuries themselves.
If 2020 taught us anything, it was that health and workplace culture are critical to overall wellbeing. Some were sending out hourly ‘sanitize your desk’ reminder emails. Others were trying to home school alongside their own full-time job.
Either way, everyone felt the effects of the pandemic.
So in 2021, employees need more care than ever before. You’ve got a chance to re-build your image as a responsible employer and build your brand credibility. Look after employee health, and they’ll look after your business.
Many employees have taken a break during 2020 and are anticipating a return to work. Now is the time to refresh your return to work policy and check that it still meets the health and safety requirements.
You should always log all reported accidents with personal injury case management tools. You need to put time and effort into implementing an injury prevention program if you want to increase employee retention.
Reduced Business Costs
Increased safety awareness leads to fewer accidents, which leads to fewer costly payouts. But it’s not just sick leave you might have to cover; there are many financial burdens associated with any workplace injury.
First is equipment; accidents often result in damage to machinery. Replacing or repairing any industrial equipment is pricey and often not anticipated in budget meetings.
Paying for maintenance work will ensure all equipment is functioning in optimal condition. This lessens the likelihood of accidents and keeps the potential costs low. Although injury prevention is ideal, incidents do happen – no matter how careful you are.
When an employee does suffer an injury, the first cost is sick pay. But, this is the least of your worries as an employer.
If there’s any chance the injury was your fault, you might be liable to pay compensation. If you didn’t train the employee well or if your workplace contained unaccounted for hazards, you could be responsible.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) protects employee rights in the workplace.
After any injury, an employee has the right to make a health and safety complaint to OSHA and request an inspection of the workplace.
The focus on injury prevention and early intervention these programs help reduce OSHA complaints.
If OSHA finds any parts of your company that aren’t up to standard, this could be an unanticipated sting to business expenses. In a nutshell, it’s best to focus on preventing injuries rather than dealing with injuries at work to keep costs down.
Make Employee Injury Prevention a Priority
If you haven’t already, it’s time to implement your employee injury prevention program. Even minor injuries can have serious effects on team morale, productivity, and the associated costs can be high.
Focus on health and safety in the workplace and you’ll see injury rates fall. Now you know the benefits of focusing on preventing injury in the workplace, what’s stopping you? Get ahead and save yourself the hassle and complaints down the line.
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