Workplace injuries occur every 7 seconds. This costs employers around $170 billion a year. Plus, there are other less-tangible costs such as lost time, a need for new or updated training, and even the effects of lowered employee morale. What can employers do to help curb these costs?
It all comes down to addressing workplace safety as early as possible and knowing what steps you'll take when accidents happen. While you cannot possibly be prepared for or prevent every incident, you can create a general plan so you are ready to act swiftly if an injury does occur.
Questions to Ask Before an Injury Happens
How quickly you respond to a workplace accident can make a big difference in the outcome. You need to put plans in place now, before anyone ever gets hurt. Here are a few questions you should ask in order to prepare yourself and your team for a quick injury response.
1. Where might injuries take place in your workplace?
2. What steps can you take to minimize these risks?
3. Do you have appropriate safety products available to your employees?
4. Do your employees know what to do when there is an injury?
5. Can you offer further training?
6. Who is in charge of handling risk assessment, claims, and follow-up?
What to Do When an Injury Happens
When a workplace injury happens, seconds count. Here are a few tips to follow immediately after a workplace injury.
1. Seek medical attention. Call 911 if the injury looks severe.
2. Get a statement from the injured worker as to what happened.
3. Question witnesses as to the nature of the incident.
4. File an incident report.
Steps to Take After an Injury Happens
1. Respond to workers compensation claims.
2. Create alternative opportunities for work (modified duty) until the employee is well.
3. Welcome the employee back once they have recovered.
4. Look for opportunities to prevent future injuries and take action.
Even with the safest workforce, mistakes and injuries can happen. Make preparedness your first line of defense by including the above-mentioned steps in your workplace safety plan. If your company hasn't yet created a safety strategy, you should. Visit How (and Why) to Create a Workplace Safety Plan for tips on getting started.