Workplace accidents are an inevitable part of any business. Accidents, by strict definition, are situations that happen inadvertently. It’s practically impossible to avoid accidents with 100% certainty, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t be predicted and mitigated. Prevention, as they say, is better than cure.
According to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,836 deaths from workplace injuries in 2015. A lot of these fatalities could have been prevented if employers strictly implemented safety protocols.
Preparation is the key to reducing the chances of accidents in the workplace. Employers have to be diligent about safety precautions and enforcing proper procedures to diminish workplace mishaps. Below are some concrete measures that can help in securing a safer, and ultimately, more productive work space.
- Investing in worker wellness programs.
Companies are pouring resources into worker wellness programs to save on long-term health care costs, and to improve the general productivity of the employees. Multiple studies have shown that happy and healthy workers make the most productive workers.
Company-sponsored medical check-ups, as well as substance and marijuana testing for employees, can go a long way in building a stronger and more reliable workforce. There are notable costs to the approach, but the payoff, in the long run, is worth the investment.
- Keeping work spaces clean and well organized.
There are minor safety hazards to a dirty and unorganized work space. These small safety concerns can possibly escalate into larger problems when neglected for a long time. Tripping over exposed cabling and getting hit by falling boxes are just some of the common mishaps that can lead to more serious accidents in a messy environment.
It’s the responsibility of everyone in the company – not just the maintenance staff – to regularly keep their work spaces tidy and orderly.
- Providing workers with proper training and equipment.
Giving workers insufficient training and substandard equipment is a recipe for disaster in the workplace. Aside from performing poorly, employees are more prone to making mistakes when working with inadequate skills and resources.
Proper maintenance of equipment is also part of the equation. Company vehicles, in particular, should be regularly serviced to ensure optimal performance and safety.
- Asking for worker feedback and suggestions.
Regular employees are the front-liners of the enterprise, so naturally, they have the most experience with the working conditions. Tapping into their knowledge can be beneficial in improving workplace safety.
Encouraging workers to verbalize their workplace thoughts and concerns can directly improve the quality of life in the company. Regularly done, it can also be used as a worthwhile team-building activity to improve personnel morale and bonding.
It’s the duty of the employer to provide employees with safe working conditions. Employees are at their best when they’re treated well and are provided a safe, work-conducive environment. Worker safety and wellness should be a priority for employers if they want a more productive business.
There are multiple ways to approach the issue of workplace safety. Each method has its pros and cons, and associated costs to implement. It’s up to the employer to appropriate the best strategies that fit the needs of the business and its employees.
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