Across the U.S., April 28 marked Workers Memorial Day, an event that helps remind all people of the true costs of a workplace accident, illness and injury. While many positive gains have been reported for nearly all industries, there is still plenty that needs to be done to ensure that overall safety continues to improve.
Problems can arise on the job in a number of ways. Employers are tasked with creating a culture that can prevent problems from multiplying, including the establishment of a risk management plan and comprehensive workers compensation insurance. Without these measures in place, risks could lead to costly errors in the workplace.
Challenges remain for employers
In light of Workers Memorial Day, John Howard, M.D., and director of the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, released a statement regarding the current climate for employers and workers throughout the country.
Howard explained that despite the gains made in overall safety, several issues remain that could pose a threat. For instance, some risks have existed since the beginning of time, such as slips, trips and falls. While the inherent threats to safety and security can never be truly removed, they can be addressed. NIOSH uses partnerships to help raise awareness of hazards.
In addition, Howard pointed to a changing landscape as another impediment to safety. New technology and industries have shifted how employees perform day-to-day tasks, and that could leave room for risk exposure. An in-depth understanding of these problems could help reduce the likelihood of an accident or illness.
Comfort can lead to problems
Thankfully for employers, there are many ways that they can help reduce the chances of a costly injury on the job. For starters, a risk management plan should be in place, and proper insurance coverage can help limit the financial impact.
According to Safety+Health magazine, an additional reason for dangers on the job is employee comfort. For instance, in some cases workers forget that risks exist. This can lead to complacency and apathy, further compounding the issues. Instead of letting this happen, employers will want to ensure that everyone has a respect for hazards on the job, and that they all understand what needs to be done to prevent accidents.
In some cases, employees feel pressured to remain quiet about risks, the news source noted. This should never be the case, and it is better to be overly cautious rather that silent. Raising issues - even if nothing is actually wrong - can lead to increased awareness, a better safety culture and more knowledge about the dangers of day-to-day operations.