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Workplace Accidents – 6 Essential Steps to Protect your Business

According to estimates, the direct cost of workers’ compensation claims in the USA is around $1 billion per week.  This huge sum doesn’t even include indirect costs such as loss of productivity. And of course, no figure can be put on the pain and worry caused when workers are injured in the course of their duties. So, as a business owner, it pays to focus on safety and to take steps to eradicate workplace injuries – whether they happen on construction sites or in the office, accidents can have a major impact on your bottom line.

Create a safety policy

The first step is to ensure that you have a clear, comprehensive, and up-to-date safety policy in place. It’s essential that every person in your organization knows of its existence, and has easy access to it.

Drive safety from the top

It’s easy to say that safety is everyone’s responsibility, but don’t let this mean that, in the end, it’s no one’s. Appoint a senior member of your team to drive safety. Let him or her take responsibility for communication and be held accountable for any failures. Make safety and zero-accidents be an integral part of their KPIs each year.

Risk assessment

For an employee to bring a successful claim against you, negligence has to be proved. To ensure you’re taking all reasonable steps to ensure your employees are safe, comprehensive risk assessments need to be in place. If you don’t have the expertise in-house to do this work, it’s worth hiring an occupational safety consultant, as well as legal advice about personal injury claims to evaluate the risks and identify mitigating actions.

Training

Once you have the risk assessments, the next step is to ensure that if training is needed to keep employees safe. Again, if you need to bring in external resources, it’s a good investment. Ensure that assessments are carried out after the training and that compliance with the standards becomes the responsibility of each leader. In the case of a claim against you, you’ll need to produce training records, and documentation related to the content of the session.

Reporting

If despite all your efforts, an incident does happen, a detailed report in place is a legal requirement. Furthermore, follow-up action needs to be taken to remove any hazards and prevent further risk of injury.  If each incident is treated seriously and communicated throughout the workplace, awareness of safety is likely to increase.

Follow up

It’s all too easy to relegate workplace safety to the back-burner – there are so many other priorities. But, given the potential financial risk to your business, as well as the human cost, safety risks need to be high on the list of management priorities.  Constant and clear communication, from the very top, is key.  Getting employees at all levels engaged will keep good practices high on the agenda.  Safety days, demonstrations, rewards for those who demonstrate good safety practices or prevent incidents, can all help to keep your workplace safe and free from claims of negligence.  And in the end, keeping your employees safe from harm is fundamental to being a great employer.

BIZCATALYST 360°
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