One of the biggest expenses for business owners every year is the cost
of injuries and workplace safety. Injuries cost business owners billions
of dollars in benefits and countless numbers of lost man-hours, which
also slows down production and indirectly results in even further profit
loss. Direct costs of injuries can include things like workers’
compensation insurance, medical expenses, or even legal services when
an employee decides to sue for their injuries. There are also indirect
costs, such as training new employees when one can no longer work, accident
investigation, and even equipment repair that can occur after an injury.
What’s the best way to cut down on this massive expenditure? Simple:
prevent injuries from happening in the first place. In honor of June being
National Safety Month, here are five tips on how to prevent workplace
injuries and encourage safety from our Albuquerque
workers’ comp attorney.
Develop, Incorporate, & Enforce a Safety Plan
An environment that’s dedicated to safety starts right from the top.
It is management’s responsibility to develop a safety plan that’s
both conducive to the work environment they want to promote, and then
to implement that plan throughout the company. Each company’s philosophy
on safety should be unique, and properly reflect not only your mission
and culture as a company, but your dedication to the safety and well-being
of your employees.
A safety philosophy can include more than just your goals and how you plan
to achieve them, but it can also include your mission for a company culture.
In fact, a lot of companies with desk-oriented employees are often providing
standing desks and regular resting breaks to help prevent long-term trauma
injuries like carpal tunnel. Your safety plan should always include encouragement
for employees to report any potential safety hazards they see, such as
dangerous practices, defective or dangerous equipment, or hazardous behavior.
Educate & Train Your Employees & Management
What’s the best way to implement a safety plan for your entire company?
Educating your employees through thorough and rigorous training. Depending
on the hazards your company deals with on a day to day basis, your training
could include everything from how to handle dangerous chemicals and operate
heavy machinery, to openly encouraging your workers to get up from their
desks and walk around for a little while. Every company should also train
workers to avoid placing things in walkways to prevent trip hazards or
clean up spills to prevent slippery floors from causing injuries. A shared
responsibility for safety can only benefit your entire workforce as a
whole, and proper training can instill this philosophy on a regular and
Research & Correct Safety Vulnerabilities
Your business is unique and therefore has numerous unique safety vulnerabilities.
Rather than simply ignoring these vulnerabilities or shoving them under
the rug and hoping for the best, you should research these issues and
address them as soon as possible to find a proper and adequate solution.
In most instances, safety vulnerabilities can be fixed to remove the hazard
entirely, and while it may have a cost, the price likely pales in comparison
to a potential injury. If you can’t eliminate a potential hazard,
properly instructing your employees on how to work with it and providing
them with ideal safety equipment can dramatically lower the chances of
a major injury impacting your business.
Keep Up With Necessary Maintenance
Does your business work with vehicles, such as cars or trucks? What about
heavy machinery? What about specialized machinery designed for manufacturing
or potentially dangerous tools that require maintenance to ensure they
keep working well? These are all things that need to be properly maintained,
and being negligent on this maintenance is not only incredibly dangerous
to your workers, but could make you liable should an accident happen.
Encourage your employees to carefully track all usage of tools or devices
that need regular maintenance, and then always make sure this maintenance
is performed on-time. While maintenance may be a substantial cost, the
costs of a lawsuit against you for negligent maintenance is far, far greater.
Don’t Cut Corners
Skipping steps to complete tasks ahead of schedule rarely works out well
and usually only exacerbates any issues. This is particularly true when
it comes to safety. For example, not providing the proper equipment for
those who work with dangerous machines or chemicals can dramatically increase
their chances of an injury, even if you thoroughly train them on how to
handle a particular situation.
Skimping on your responsibilities not only goes completely against your
proposed dedication to safety that you expect your employees to follow,
but it could put them directly in harm’s way. Be sure you do your
part to promote a safe working environment, including making it possible
for your workers to adhere to the training you gave them as closely as possible.
If you have been injured on the job, call
Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law today at 505-219-2176 to request a
free case evaluation and get the help you need filing a workers’ compensation claim.