Each Labor Day, we celebrate the contributions and achievements of American workers. It’s a fitting time to consider how to keep employees safe at work. Safe workplaces not only reduce the human and financial costs associated with an accident, but also boost morale and productivity.
Based on internal analysis of claims data, AmTrust, the third largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance nationwide, found that the most common small business workplace injuries include overexertion; falls, slips or trips; transportation incidents; burns; and lacerations. Many of these injuries can be avoided.
In honor of Labor Day, here are five tips for business owners to help their employees avoid common workplace injuries:
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- Overexertion: The most common type of overexertion is back strain as a result of lifting heavy objects. When carrying substantial items, keep the load close, bend at the hips, and do not over-reach or twist the body. Additionally, maintaining good physical condition by practicing stretching and conditioning exercises and good posture can help to prevent these injuries.
- Falls, Slips or Trips: Certain floor surface types, level changes and friction as well as changes in the floor surface or foreign objects can increase the potential for falls, slips or trips. It is important to have good visibility, remove obstructions and to be aware of your surroundings to reduce the potential for these accidents.
- Transportation Incidents: For employees that operate vehicles, observing traffic laws is not only important for their safety, but for others on the road. Other considerations include wearing seatbelts, evaluating weather conditions, providing training to personnel operating specialized vehicles, implementing routine maintenance and not requiring staff to drive at irregular hours.
- Burns: Some industries have considerable exposure to burn risks including restaurants, construction, auto mechanics and certain types of manufacturing. Wearing and using protective equipment and maintaining tools are means to reduce the potential for burn hazards in these industries.
- Lacerations: With many ways an employee can be cut or punctured by tools, machines, instruments, as well as environmental objects like plants or animals, it is best to focus on general safety precautions such as maintaining equipment and ensuring necessary procedures are implemented and enforced.