It’s no secret that accidents happen in the workplace. Employers don’t want their employees to get hurt, but unfortunately, it’s a reality that can’t always be avoided. Workplace accidents can range from minor injuries to serious, life-threatening ones.
Every year, millions of people are injured on the job, and many injuries are preventable. In 2020, there were 4,764 fatal work-related injuries in the United States, a decrease of 10.7 percent from 5,333 in 2019. Though there’s a decrease that had happened, still, the number of injuries is high.
And while some workplace accidents are unavoidable, there are many ways to prevent them. Here are a few tips to help your employees to avoid occupational injuries:
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This may seem like common sense, but it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at work. Pay attention to where you’re walking and what’s around you. Keep your hands and clothing clear of moving parts if you’re working with machinery.
2. Follow Safety Protocols
Every workplace has different safety protocols that you should follow at all times. These may include wearing the proper clothing and using the right equipment for the job. If you’re unsure of the safety protocols in your workplace, be sure to ask your supervisor or another authority figure.
3. Take Breaks
If you’re feeling tired or dizzy, take a break. It’s essential to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. Otherwise, you’ll be more likely to make mistakes or have an accident.
4. Use Caution When Lifting
Lifting heavy objects is one of the most common ways to get injured at work. When lifting something heavy, use proper form and lift with your legs, not your back. If you can’t lift the object by yourself, ask for help.
5. Be Careful With Chemicals
If you’re working with any type of chemical, be sure to follow the safety instructions carefully. Wear the proper clothing and gloves, and be sure to ventilate the area if possible.
Common Types of Workplace Accidents
Now that you know how your employees can prevent workplace accidents, you must be aware of the most common types of accidents. These include:
- Slips and falls: This can happen if there’s water or oil on the floor or uneven floor. To prevent this, clean up any spills immediately and wear proper footwear.
- Falls from heights: This can happen if you work on a ladder or scaffolding. An injury like this usually happens to construction workers, roofers, and window washers.
- Being hit by an object: This type of accident usually occurs in factories or warehouses. Stay clear of the moving parts if you’re working around heavy machinery. Things can also fall from shelves or overhead storage, so be careful when walking around these areas.
- Injuries from machinery: Keep your hands and clothing clear of moving parts and follow all safety protocols.
- Car accidents: If you’re driving for work, practice safe driving habits. This includes wearing your seat belt, obeying the speed limit, and not using your phone while driving.
- Burns: This can happen when working with chemicals or hot surfaces.
What To Do If Your Employee Gets Injured on the Job
If your employee does get injured on the job, there are a few things you should do:
- Get medical help immediately: Call 911 or take them to the nearest hospital if the injury is serious. Otherwise, you can have them seen by a doctor or nurse at your workplace.
- Report the accident: Be sure to report the accident to your supervisor or HR department. This is important for insurance purposes and to prevent future accidents.
- Fill out paperwork: You’ll need to fill out an accident report and workers’ compensation claim form. Be sure to do this as soon as possible after the accident.
If your employee decides to take legal action, it is always best to find a lawyer immediately. By being prepared, you can help your business avoid any potential legal problems. Here are the things your lawyers can help you with:
- Investigate the accident: Your lawyers will investigate the accident to determine what happened and who is responsible.
- File a workers’ compensation claim: If your employee is injured on the job, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Handle paperwork: Your lawyers can help you with the paperwork associated with the accident, including the accident report and workers’ compensation claim form.
- Defend your business: If your employee decides to sue your company, your lawyers will defend you in court.
- Prevent future accidents: After an accident, your lawyers can help you create new safety protocols to prevent future accidents. By taking the necessary precautions, you can help prevent workplace accidents. But if an accident does happen, be sure to take the proper steps to protect your business. If you have any questions, be sure to speak with an attorney.
All Things Considered
Workplace accidents can cause injuries and lost time, leading to decreased productivity and increased costs. Ensure all employees know the safety procedures and protocols, and encourage them to report any unsafe conditions or practices immediately. With everyone working together, we can create a safe workplace where employees feel comfortable coming to work each day.