Millions of people are injured at work every year. The vast majority of those injuries result in employees cashing in on worker’s compensation insurance, taking time off work, or suing their employers.
If you’re a business owner, that should worry you.
Worker’s comp premiums are liable to go up if your employees are making regular claims. Lawsuits can be unpredictable and could bankrupt your company.
The best way to keep from getting hurt by employee injuries is to prevent them altogether. This article is laser-focused on helping you do that.
Here are eight safety ideas for the workplace that’ll help you create a safe culture which, in the long run, will save you money.
1. Take Time to Train New Employees
It costs a lot of money to onboard a new employee. This is especially true when you consider the opportunity cost of managers interviewing, vetting applications and more.
Given the high cost of bringing on new people, it can be tempting to throw employees directly into things on their first day. We urge you to fight that temptation and to make day-1 more about training than anything else.
Inexperienced employees are by far the most likely to make mistakes that could result in injuries. The best way to counteract that trend is to take a moment to bring them up to speed on proper procedures.
2. Have Safety Documents
If somebody were to get injured at work and sue you, being able to show that you have published safety material is going to be extremely helpful to your case.
That published material will go a lot further for you than just saying that you taught your injured employee how to be safe on their first day of work and that they were negligent by being forgetful.
Printed, hard-copy safety workbooks give employees a way to re-reference how to do things properly. They’re cheap to create and can make a big difference when it comes to keeping people safe.
3. Recognize Safety Specialists
Everybody likes recognition. When you take a moment to celebrate somebody’s above-and-beyond commitment to something, it inspires that person to double-down on their efforts and others to follow in their footsteps.
That’s why we think one of the best safety ideas for the workplace is to regularly give out safety awards.
On a monthly basis, recognize team members that are evangelists for proper procedure.
You can reward the person that you recognize by putting their picture on a wall, allowing them to leave work early or giving them a gift card.
4. Have Regular Health/Safety Speakers
As an individual, there’s only so much expertise that you can lend on the safety front. When it comes to specialized safety topics like sitting properly at your desk to avoid back issues, you’re going to want to call in a pro.
Many proactive business owners hold regular talks from safety experts in specific niches so that their employees can get professional perspectives on how to best conduct themselves in a variety of situations.
Hiring these speakers might cost a little bit of upfront but they’re likely to save you money in the way of less worker’s comp claims and legal trouble.
5. Leverage Signs
Signs are a necessity when it comes to workplace safety. This is especially true in fields that work alongside heavy machinery.
If your work tools are not adequately labeled to alert workers to potential hazards and somebody gets hurt, you’re going to get sued. If the injured party can prove that you were negligent by not posting a sign, you’re going to lose that case 100% of the time.
Signs cost pennies. Lawsuits can cost millions.
6. Be Proactive With Spills
Slip and falls are among the most common injury types for consumers and employees. Many of these accidents are caused by spills.
Employees should know to report spills immediately to parties that are in charge of mopping them up. They should also know how to access “Caution Signage” that they can place around a spill so coworkers can be made aware prior to cleaning.
7. Always Give People What They Need to Do Their Job
Many businesses cut corners in their workplaces by not giving their team members the tools that they need to perform their responsibilities. For example, an auto body shop might have employees working with a jack that’s prone to slipping.
Do not gamble by asking your employees to work with sub-par or inappropriate equipment. Always have team members come to you if they feel that they don’t have what they need to do a job safely and never send them back to work without giving them what they need.
Auto body shop owners can learn more information about preventing injuries in their line of business online. Other employment niches can get information on safety from their industry’s guild or similar governing body.
8. Always Revisit Safety
For many people, safety training is in one ear and out the other. While that’s not your fault, you’re the one that’s likely to pay.
Do your best to ensure that proper safety is ingrained into your team’s head by taking time at least once a year to re-brief everyone on the safety skills that they’ve learned previously.
Giving people an annual reminder is a must that’s simple and can save your company a lot of money.
Closing Out Our Safety Ideas for the Workplace
Implementing safety ideas for the workplace into your business is good for your employees and good for your bottom line.
When you look at it from those angles, the nominal investment that it takes to bring people up to speed on safety really pales in comparison to all of the value brought to your company.
If you’d like more tips on how to get the most out of your business, browse more of the content on our blog today!