Every year, more than 4,500 employees die on the job, and more than 4 million employees sustain a serious injury. Preventing injuries in the workplace is an important consideration for any employer, but this topic is particularly salient for companies that operate in the industrial sector. Research shows that minimizing workplace injuries can result in a number of benefits for employers, including improved employee retention and morale, reduced absenteeism, and cost savings via decreased worker’s compensation claims.
A workplace injury can include any injury that requires treatment and is sustained while at work, on company property, or while on business. Workplace injuries may or may not require time off from work. Common workplace injuries include falling, slipping/tripping, vehicle accidents, machine entanglement, injuries related to overexertion (such as lifting or pushing objects), and injuries related to repetitive motions (such as typing).
Fortunately, many workplace injuries are preventable. Instituting a formal workplace injury prevention program is an important measure for reducing healthcare costs and ensuring the well-being of employees. These prevention programs focus on risk reduction, or identifying and eliminating hazards in the workplace. Any component of work can be a safety hazard if it has the potential to cause harm, but some of the most frequently identified workplace hazards include exposure to chemicals, exposure to biological agents (particularly for those in the medical or science fields), physical hazards such as falling objects or wet floors, and ergonomic hazards like poor body positioning.
Workplace injury prevention programs are becoming more and more common as employers discover the value of promoting employee safety. In fact, at least 34 states have passed laws that mandate the implementation of these programs. Workplace injury prevention programs also tend to be straight-forward; steps involved include identifying hazards through a risk assessment process, determining how employees might be harmed by the hazard, evaluating the identified risks, and documenting and reviewing hazards at least annually.
Establishing an onsite clinic is a key component to minimizing workplace injuries. Ideally, onsite clinics will be staffed with healthcare providers that can promptly evaluate, triage, and treat any workplace injuries. Onsite clinic staff should also be competent in managing workers’ compensation injuries, which will result in decreased absenteeism and cost savings for the employer.
Companies should also consider offering employee training and education/awareness programs about workplace injuries. One company in New Hampshire actually achieved a 90 percent decrease in workers’ comp claims after implementing a safety training program. In addition to hazard identification/reduction and training/education, other elements of a successful workplace injury prevention program include management leadership, employee participation and buy-in, and program evaluation and improvement. The onsite clinic can assist with all of these components of a successful program.
At Healthstat, we recognize that your employees are your biggest asset. That’s why we strive to provide wellness initiatives that put employee health and safety first.
Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (704)936-5577 to discuss our innovative and straight-forward solutions for minimizing workplace injuries, including onsite health clinics, proactive employee outreach and engagement, wellness programs, and on-the-job injury treatment and triage.