Workplace Safety Tips to Avoid Common Injuries

A workplace injury is a completely unwelcomed visitor to any office, construction site, factory or any other work environment. They are bad for employers, bad for customers and clients, and, more than anybody, they are bad for workers. The costs of a workplace injury are staggering, to say the least. For example, did you know that workplace injuries cost employers $1 billion every week in the United States, and that is only factoring in the direct costs of workers’ compensation payments.

Since we know that no one wants these injuries to occur and that they can have an incredibly negative impact on a person’s income and a business’s bottom line, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that we do everything we can to prevent them from happening in the first place.

A comprehensive approach to workplace safety will differ depending on the industry and work environment of a given business, but there are a few general tips that can certainly begin the process. Here are a few tips to help you improve workplace safety.

  • Examine your industry’s standards. The first step to ensuring workplace safety is to make sure that you are compliant with the safety requirements in your sector. Consult the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s publicly available resources and consider contacting the agency for direct assistance. Take advantage of OSHA’s free and confidential on-site consultation to make sure your business is meeting regulations and providing workers with the safest environment possible.
  • Talk to workers. One of the best ways to address the safety of your employees is to engage them on the topic of their own safety. Workers usually know more than anyone else about the dangers they face, and they might have concerns that they will bring up only if they are prompted for ideas and given a platform to raise concerns. Provide a channel to employees that guarantees their anonymity to encourage those employees who might be less outspoken.
  • Create a culture of safety. By encouraging discourse among workers and demonstrating that safety is a top priority, you can create an environment in which worker health thrives. Encourage those with concerns – management and employees – to look for ways to improve upon that culture.
  • Implement worker health initiatives to reduce the likelihood of injury and illness. Preempt worker injuries by implementing worker health initiatives in your business. This can mean offering employees the chance to be active during a break, offering healthier alternatives for food, and offering them opportunities outside of the office to learn and take part in healthy activities. Consider working with local health departments or doctors’ offices to provide hearing or eyesight checkups for employees, or to offer flu shots, for example.

The most important things to remember about workplace safety is that a) by making worker safety a priority at every level of your organization, you can significantly improve the well-being of your employees; and b) by creating a system of transparency and openness about the safety environment of employees, you will be less likely to see the occurrence of workplace injuries and illnesses in your business.

There are so many resources available, either through OSHA or through state offices, to improve the work environment of your employees, that there is no reason that employers shouldn’t take every advantage of them. It saves money, keeps workers happy and healthy, and ensures that your business will be more efficient.