Although accidents can’t be prevented 100 percent because some things are bound to happen, they can be minimized and reduced significantly if a proper and well-structured injury prevention program is implemented. It is in everyone’s best interest if workers don’t get hurt. For example, from the worker’s perspective injuries can confine them to bed, lower their quality of life and they may get burdened with costly medical expenses sometimes even for a lifetime.
On the other hand, injuries to workers can wreak havoc for businesses especially for small businesses with limited staff available to handle the job duties of an injured worker while they are on recovery leave. Apart from the workers compensation insurance, your business will have to experience other indirect cost associated with training replacements and lowered productivity.
Did you know that according to the NSC (National Safety Council), illnesses and injuries that occur in a workplace cost the US economy nearly 198.2 billion dollars annually? That’s more than half a billion dollars per day. Imagine how much money can employers save on injuries by implementing IPPs in their system?
Therefore, the best way to lower the hidden workplace injury costs as well as insurance related cost and cost associated with recovery, it makes sense to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. If you’re ready to make the leap, then here are some crucial steps to follow in order to implement an effective workplace injury prevention program (IPP) in your office:
The management at the top must commit to the implementation of a quality and well-thought through injury prevention program. The core factors here include:
- Be willing to invest in and continuously develop a safety program
- Make worker health and safety a core value of the company
- Lead by example
It’s important to understand that you can only improve and ensure workplace safety successfully when the top leadership leads by example and collaborates with employees. This is because workplace safety is not one person’s responsibility; it is and should be part of everyone’s job. Moreover, specific managers and workers should be tasked to implement, maintain and improve components of a workplace safety program.
Job Hazard Identification and Analysis
Job hazard identification is crucial to creating a solid and successful IPP. This step is slightly time-consuming but worth it as it can benefit your business and workers in the long run. So, you must be flexible and willing to invest time when it comes to identification of each job and overall workplace hazards.
The best way to go about it is to hire an experienced team of injury prevention specialists to analyze and identify workplace hazards. Such a team can interact with workers to find out and learn about the potential safety risks and hazards that they face while performing day to day tasks and job duties.
In addition to this, an injury prevention team will also investigate previous workplace accidents, illnesses and injuries to identify the causes and risk factors. Investigation is a crucial part as it helps create, improve and update workplace safety plan.
During this step, injury prevention specialists keeping OSHA guidelines in consideration would ask employees the following questions about each job that they do:
- What can go wrong?
- What do you think are the consequences?
- How can it arise?
- What do you think are other risk factors that may contribute to workplace injuries?
- What are the odds of that the hazard will occur?
Along with this, an IPP team will also review your business equipment, operations, facilities and workplace activities to determine employee safety concerns. All this information gathers will help IPP specialists to create a well-rounded workplace safety program to ensure that everyone is safe from potential injuries and illnesses.
Create and Deploy a Workplace Injury Prevention Program
This stage of the injury prevention program is equally crucial because simply identifying and being aware of hazardous workplace practices, infrastructure and equipment are not enough. A strategic and result-driven safety plan must be created and deployed to keep risks at bay and accidents from happening.
The process of implementation begins by:
- Seeking to remove or control tasks that pose safety hazards
- Add safety measures
- Change workplace operations for the better
- Find alternatives for dangerous chemical and toxic substances used that expose workers to safety hazards and occupational diseases
Educate and Train Workers
The workplace injury prevention program will only deliver you good results if employees are onboard and trained effectively. Workers need to be trained and educated so that they clearly understand how and why injury prevention program will work and what their role in ensuring workplace safety is.
Furthermore, this training should not be limited to new recruitment but refresher training on a regular basis should also be provided to all employees.
Some of the important things that your workplace safety training program should include are:
- How and who to report safety and injury hazards?
- What does the risk look like and dangers that employees may face?
- How to control hazards?
- What steps to take to better process and avoid hazards and accidents from occurring?
- What new procedures are introduced and why to minimize risk?
- How they can ensure their safety and of that of other workers and people in the surroundings?
Review, Respond and Improve
Once the program is implemented, it is important to review it every now and then in response to near misses or actual accidents. It is important to understand that promoting and ensuring workplace safety is an ongoing process.
When it comes to implementing effective workplace injury prevention programs, GSC Onsite is a top choice among employers across industries. Get in touch with us today. Our team of experienced injury prevention specialists will help you devise and implement a successful plan to minimize accidents and ensure worker safety.