While office work may not be as dangerous as many 'blue-collar' job sites, it has its own inherent risks. The potential for injury still exists in an office workplace setting. Work-place injuries can have catastrophic consequences throughout the business in the long run. For example, it could cause a loss in production, possible raise in Workers' Compensation insurance premiums, and even out-of-pocket expenses. Injured employees can put a serious strain on the workload distribution within the office. As a manager/owner of a business, you would probably prefer to avoid paying overtime and/or hiring temporary employees to fill the workload gap. To effectively manage risks in the office, a solid strategy is prudent.
Here are three effective tips to make your office safer:
1. Identify Risks
Simplest way to do this? Take a walk around the office. Watch out for objects that are slip, trip, or fall hazards. Why is this important? They are some of the most common causes of workplace injuries. Here are some other hazards to look out for:
Exposed electrical cords
Open Desk Drawers
You may also be eligible for a free safety analysis from your workers' compensation insurance carrier or the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Contact Cardinal Alliance Group to see what resources are available to you. Once you've identified potential hazards, document them! This protects your business in the event of an OSHA inspection or insurance review.
2. Implement a Safety Program
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.8 million nonfatal occupational injuries in the US in 2014. An effective safety program can help businesses mitigate these injuries and their negative impacts. Such programs typically include four elements:
- Commitment- Management must pledge to make safety a priority throughout the company. They should lead by example and work with the employees to make the workplace a safer environment. This would include the creation, development, and implementation of specific safety initiatives.
- Accountability- Employees should be involved in the development of a workplace safety program. They would be helpful in identifying potential everyday risks and provide suggestions for mitigation of such risks. A safety forum or an anonymous suggestion box is a great idea to have in this process. Employees should be held liable for any violations of the business's safety policy.
- Prevention- After potential risks have been identified, create a list of safety practices for each type of work that takes place in your business. For example, if your business has a warehouse, a special type of ladder or forklift may be necessary to avoid height-related fall injuries.
- Training- New employee orientation should involve risk prevention and safety training. In addition, what new procedures have been introduced would also be included. Training on office equipment is prudent as well to avoid injury.
3. Promote a Culture of Wellness
It is also important to assess your office's efficacy on the promotion of employee wellness. Many full-time employees in the US work longer than 40 hrs/week. These long work days can take a toll on employee health and overall safety. Wellness programs should be implemented that encourage healthy behaviors and promote a safe workplace environment.
These are just a few things that you could do to improve safety in your workplace. Always collaborate with your employees to tailor policies specific to the office and their needs. Effective safety initiatives will help to reduce risks to the organization as a whole and its employees.
Source: Property Casualty 360