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Just one workplace injury can have a huge impact on a business, especially if you are a small employer with limited resources. Being injured on the job can be just as impactful if you happen to be an employer, particularly if you have to deal with a series of related medical issues and weeks or months of physical therapy and rehab. Take a moment to get a better idea of what you could do – as either an employer or employee – to make your work environment as safe as possible.
1. Provide Supplemental Training When Necessary
As an employer, go beyond the basics of safety training and provide some supplemental guidance when there’s a reason to do so. For instance, if your workers normally perform tasks involving lifting and repetitious movements, supplemental training in body mechanics may reduce injuries related to strains and sprains by minimizing movements that place too much stress on certain bones, joints, and muscle groups.
2. Know When to Get a Helping Hand
Even if you’re normally a self-motivated worker, realizing your limits may help you reduce your risk of being injured on the job. Common scenarios where some assistance may be necessary include lifting items off of high shelves you’ll need to reach with a ladder or step stool and carrying a particularly heavy or awkwardly shaped box.
3. Maintain Company Vehicles and Use Them Responsibly
Workplace driving accidents cost employers about $60 billion a year collectively, according to OSHA. As an employer, you have a responsibility to make sure any vehicles used for work-related purposes are regularly inspected and maintained. As an employee, be equally cautious when you operate company vehicles, especially in the winter or when roads are slick.
4. Be On the Lookout for Potential Hazards
A third of all personal injuries related to work involve slips and falls, which often occur because potential hazards are overlooked. Injuries of this nature often result in spine-related issues, pulled muscles, sprains, and fractures. Both employers and employees can work together to minimize slip-and-fall hazards by:
- Cleaning spills or slippery spots ASAP
- Wearing proper footwear
- Posting signs in areas where workers/customers may track in snow, ice, or other slippery materials
- Being mindful of surroundings at all times
As an employer, it’s important to clearly post safety rules and provide proper training for all workers. However, as an employee it’s just as essential to avoid taking shortcuts by overlooking safety steps you know you should be taking just to get your job done faster. If you get into the habit of skipping certain safety steps, you may find your fellow workers doing the same thing – and that’s definitely not the kind of example you want to set if you want to reap the rewards of a safe workplace.