Workplace accidents and illnesses can become serious problems for employers across the country. Without a clear risk management plan and other safety features in place, it will be much more challenging to control costs and keep workers safe each day.
Thankfully for businesses everywhere, there are plenty of resources that can make this an easier goal. Planning ahead and providing valuable educational services to employees will help reduce the number of accidents and workers' compensation insurance claims, and it will demonstrate a willingness to improve safety efforts and ensure a productive, secure workplace.
Recently, a new initiative was launched with this exact goal in mind. Headed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 1 million workers across the nation are predicted to join in the upcoming National Fall Safety Stand-Down, set to take place during the first week of June.
Stand-Down shines spotlight on fall hazards
Falls are some of the most dangerous accidents at a workplace, especially for high-risk industries such as construction. A focus on preventing fall hazards and keeping employees safe should help reduce workers' compensation insurance costs and prevent fatalities.
This recent event organized by OSHA will help shine a spotlight on these common risks and increase awareness of proper safety measures. OSHA explained that falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, with thousands of additional injuries reported each year. In fact, too many employers provide inadequate fall protection to workers, and a lack of the correct safety equipment and training will only compound issues. During the first week of June, many businesses will stop work and discuss fall safety instead.
"This is an unprecedented event," said U.S. secretary of labor Thomas Perez. "Tens of thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of workers across the country have joined our campaign to save lives and prevent fatal falls in the construction industry. The economy is on the rebound, housing starts are on the rise and the summer construction season is getting underway. Now is the time to focus on this vital safety issue and make sure all construction workers come home at the end of every workday."
The desire for change can improve results
Introducing improved safety measures and widespread change at a construction company can be challenging if there isn't a cohesive effort between all employees to adapt.
According to EHS Today, better fall prevention is driven by three main factors: motivation, money and training. If a company is willing to invest the resources into better measures, the results are likely to follow. This type of commitment starts at the top of the company. Upper management must want to incorporate key safety changes, and this desire will have a ripple effect throughout the organization. Unfortunately in too many cases, safer workplaces are considered an impediment to production and quick results - and this is never a good thing for fewer accidents and a lower amount of workers' compensation insurance claims.
Most importantly, EHS Today stressed the value of training programs. Even strong motivation from the workforce won't yield positive results unless the educational materials exist to back it up. Training starts with good communication, especially from managers and other supervisors. For starters, all new hires must undergo strict training procedures, and all current employees must participate in regular meetings to cover crucial safety measures and new trends in the industry.
With these steps in place, construction companies may have an easier time keeping workers safe and secure on the job. Otherwise, workers' compensation insurance claims could start to rise, and an influx of accidents and illnesses might have a large-scale negative effect on the organization.