Workplace injuries cost businesses in America $170 billion annually.
What’s even more terrifying is that some businesses go under due to these workplace injuries. These companies are unable to compensate the injured employees and are forced to file for bankruptcy. As a savvy business person, you need to learn ways you can mitigate this risk.
To help you out, here are the most common types of workplace injuries that occur today.
Slip and Falls
More than 9 million people required emergency treatment due to fall-related injuries. Wet floors and icy surfaces are the leading causes of these falls. Although most falls are non-fatal, the fatal ones lead to serious issues such as spinal cord injury and brain trauma.
That’s why as a small business owner, you should learn how to prevent slip and fall accidents. Small investments such as buying slippery floor signs will save your business from injury lawsuits. Also, properly light your workplace and remove obstacles from your employees’ pathway.
Besides, adopt smart management techniques, which makes it easy to track safety adherence in your workplace. You want to invest in tools that help you get the facts on what’s happening in your workplace. The idea is to get data fast that guides you on safety areas to improve.
Overexertion and Muscle Strains
Many business owners tend to take employees’ complaints on back pains lightly. They assume that employees are making excuses to get more sick days. The problem is that ignoring this issue leads to lower productivity and other serious injuries.
That’s why you should research what causes this back pain, and one of the key causes is overexertion. This can happen when employees manually lift heavy items or work too long without breaks. When this happens, the employees damage their tendons and muscles.
So, to enhance employee safety, you need to provide your workers with the right lifting equipment. Also, take time to train your employees on the proper way to lift heavy items to avoid overexertion. Finally, take back pain complaints from your employees seriously and find out the cause.
1270 employees died in 2019 after a work-related crash. As a small business owner, you may be quick to argue that you’re liable for employees’ car accidents. The assumption is that these employees have auto insurance which will compensate them.
However, understand this is only true if the employees were driving during non-working hours. So, if the accident happened when an employee was undertaking an errand on your behalf, you’re liable. That’s why you need to implement measures to curb this risk.
Start by ensuring that only employees with valid driving licenses are operating the company’s vehicles. Next, invest in training your workers on safe driving practices such as following traffic regulations.
Struck by Equipment or Falling Objects
The other type of workplace injury happens when an employee gets struck by equipment or falling objects. When this happens, there is a high risk the employee will suffer a fatal injury, especially if they’re stuck on the head. That’s why you need to invest in implementing safe storage methods.
Besides, avoid storing things in high places, especially in areas where employees work. Also, caution your employees against stacking too many things on top of each other. Stacking too many items increase the risk of being struck by falling objects.
Exposure to Harmful Substances
36,840 employees suffered non-fatal injuries, while 642 workers suffered fatal injuries in 2019 due to exposure to harmful substances or environments. Many businesses are quick to argue that they don’t deal with harmful chemicals. And that’s why these businesses don’t bother doing anything to curb this risk.
However, understand that harmful substances aren’t restricted to only toxic chemicals. Even stressful events, extreme temperatures, noise, and oxygen deficiency counts as harmful substances or environment. That’s why you need to learn ways to curb these hazards and enhance employee safety.
For companies that deal with toxic chemicals, they must invest in employees training. The goal is to educate their employees on how to handle these chemicals safely. In addition, ensure that you provide your workers with the right protective gear for handling these toxic substances.
Fire and Explosions
A fire outbreak in your workplace may lead to severe destruction and injuries. That’s why you need to look for practical ways to prevent a fire outbreak. For example, properly label any flammable items in your warehouse.
Also, understand fire safety training and drills to educate your employees on how to respond during a fire outbreak. You want to guide them on how to act fast to enhance their safety. Also, don’t assume that your employees know how to put out a fire; instead, train them how to do it.
For example, have a fire safety training session where you guide them on how to use a fire extinguisher.
Entanglement happens when an employee is trapped by rollers, gears, or other parts of heavy machines. When this happens, the trapped employee may end up losing a limb, and in some dire situations, the worker dies. What makes things even worse is when the other workers try to pull out the trapped worker causing more injuries forcingly.
As the business owner, you must take precautionary actions to prevent entanglement. Also, train your employees on how to react when one of them is trapped. You want to avoid a situation where your employees end up causing more harm when trying to rescue the trapped employees.
Enhance Safety by Understanding the Common Types of Workplace Injuries
To enhance employee safety, you need to educate yourself on the common types of workplace injuries. You want to know what causes these injuries and how to avoid them. The objective is to create a safe workspace for your employees to enhance their productivity.