In a day and age where employee injuries can send a business into financial ruin, basic safety is a MUST. With the rising cost of worker's comp insurance and sue-happy people, it is imperative that employers not only protect their employees, they must protect their business.
Let's look at a few common injuries and how to prevent them.
1. Falls are the number ONE cause of on the job injury. Wet floors, unstable ladders or step stools, and poor safety training are all factors in the case of employee falls. Employers can protect themselves and their employees by holding regular safety meetings, checking equipment and never take for granted that an employee (or customer for that matter) can tell a floor is wet.
2. Back Injuries either tie for first place or run a close second in common employee injuries. Even with training on the correct way to lift heavy objects, people in a hurry don't always pay attention to proper posture and end up with strained back muscles, or worse, some type of spinal injury which can lead to degeneration and permanent damage. Braces or harnesses aren't the only answer to this problem, employers should insist on proper training and continuous education on back safety.
3. Some may think Chemical Burns are only prominent in factories or refineries, but that is far from the truth. Maintenance and housekeeping personnel are more prone to this type of injury than you imagine. Household and/or industrial strength cleaning products can burn the skin, seep into the system through the pores and cause long-term or permanent damage to fingertips and hands. The easiest and least expensive way to prevent this type of injury is by providing latex or rubber gloves and making sure your employees use them and never run out. Most folks don't think about the number of hours their hands are exposed to this possibility. After all, we all use these products, right? Proper education is the equally important on this issue and employees should know the dangers of not wearing gloves.
4. Muscle, joint, or tendon injuries can lead into long-term or permanent damage and render a person incapable of ever working again. In turn, this can become a financial drain on a company's worker's compensation insurance. Sprains, breaks, torn ligaments, and carpal tunnel syndrome are just a few examples of this kind of employee injury and probably the most common and least worrisome of all injuries. However, improper healing time or lack of adequate physical therapy will cause reoccurrence of what should have been a minor injury.
Despite OSHA guidelines, warnings and labels, employee injuries continue rise and be a common reason a person is out of work or forced to retire due to health reasons brought on by these instances so protect your employees and your business with proper education and safety training.
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has over twenty years experience in bookkeeping, insurance and tax preparation. *One-Time Digital Reprint Rights Available for $5.00 through PayPal. Byline must stay intact. Link back to Article and Bio greatly appreciated!