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Five Tips for Preventing Workplace Injuries

Five Tips for Preventing Workplace Injuries

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 consistent basis.

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.

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