Workplace injuries led to 5,190 deaths in 2016, reaching a level that was the highest in an eight-year period. Fatal injuries had a rate of 3.6 per 100,000 full-time workers. Injuries and illness rates declined in the same year, with 2.9 million nonfatal injuries in 2016.
Businesses should be working to reduce injuries and fatalities in the workplace.
These tips will help reduce workplace injuries by 25%:
1. Enforce Strict Weight Policies When Lifting
Workplace injuries often go unclaimed, and with nearly 3 million nonfatal injuries reported annually, many others go under the radar. One common cause of injury is overexertion.
Workers are trying to do more with less, and they often end up hurting themselves when lifting boxes or equipment.
Shoulder injuries, back injuries, knee injuries and others are caused by overexertion.
A few tips for businesses hoping to avoid injuries is to enforce strict policies that require:
- Workers to wear safety gear to reduce injuries
- Workers to ask for help if an object is too heavy
- Training on proper lifting techniques
Lifting injuries account for nearly 20% of all injuries, so reducing the number of overexertion injuries alone will make the workforce safer.
2. Implement Safety Signage
Safety signage in the workplace is very important, and it’s this signage that can help reduce risks of slips and falls, walking into hazardous areas or warn of potential dangers. Remember that all signage should meet OSHA approvals and include:
- Yellow for caution signs
- Red, black and white for danger signs
- Rounded edges
- Clear and concise wording
Safety signage will reduce the risk of unnecessary injuries dramatically, and they’re able to be implemented quickly, too.
3. Conduct and Research Safety Vulnerabilities
Safety vulnerabilities and risks are part of every workplace. When it comes to safety, it’s important that management conduct research on potential workplace vulnerabilities. The data will allow managers to:
- Lower risks of injuries occurring
- Correct current risk concerns
- Poll workers on their biggest concerns
- Develop strategies to lower future injuries from occurring
Data and research work best when managers and workers are involved in the process. Workers are the vital cog in every business’s operations, and these are the individuals that know the safety concerns that they come across on a daily basis better than anyone else.
4. Inspections and Repairs
Simple inspections and repairs can mean the difference between a safe and unsafe workplace. Statistics show that driving accidents, while on the job, cost employers $60 billion per year. If these employers conduct inspections and make the appropriate repairs, they would be able to reduce the number of workplace accidents that occur.
A major part of monitoring safety is to not only monitor safety issues, but also conduct inspections and make swift repairs.
Slip-and-fall accidents are common, and these accidents are often avoidable. Repairing a broken step or loose tile may be able to reduce the risk of a slip and fall. Signage, placed in wet areas or warning of the danger, can also help.
Inspections of the workplace should be done monthly, at the very least, followed by swift repairs or corrections as needed.