Workers' compensation is one of the more costly issues businesses in the United States face today. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a government entity devoted to workplace wellness, reports that employers spend roughly $1 billion each week nationally on injuries and compensation. That totals up to a significant amount: $52 billion annually.
Here are four ways your business can proactively prevent workplace injuries:
1. Alleviating bodily strain
The American Industrial Hygiene Association, a nonprofit organization committed to education and support of hygienists, suggests focusing on the most common injuries ─back problems, eye strain, joint pain and neck stiffness ─through more ergonomically correct workplace management. This might include spending more on ergonomic chairs, ensuring that all employees are comfortable at their desks, and adjusting light levels in the office and of computers to be softer on eyes.
2. Boost knowledge, awareness
The Insurance Information Institute, a nonprofit insurance research organization, recommends that companies enhance their workplace safety training regimens to better prevent injuries. Knowledge and awareness are two of the greatest weapons against workplace injuries that lead to compensation claims. Make sure your training carefully aligns with the specific risks and threats your staff faces on the job.
3. Use the 'ABC' method
The Minnesota Department of Health, the state's medical governance agency, argues the 'ABC' method can be highly effective in preventing workplace injuries, with that acronym standing for 'Administration,' 'Building Barriers,' and 'Communication.' Essentially, the entity states that leaders must take an intelligent and administrative approach to injury prevention. This can be done by implementing tangible controls that lower risks and constantly communicating with staff to see how the programs are playing out in practice.
4. Launch an employee wellness program
The Society for Human Resource Management, a professional organization for human resources professionals, notes that wellness programs have been used to not only reduce the cost of health care and rate of absence among workers, but also to cut down on injuries and disability payments. Wellness programs are among the most affordable, engaging and consistently effective approaches to improving worker health and preventing serious, costly injuries and illnesses.
Find a strategy that works best for your company’s needs and objectives. And make sure you communicate with managers and workers to ensure your injury prevention strategies are well-received.