Workplace injuries are almost unavoidable especially in industries such as construction and manufacturing. Whenever these unfortunate incidents occur, both the worker and company suffer the consequences. For the worker, it means the loss of wages, not to mention his or her health, and for the company, it results in production loss.
The Human Resources and Skills Development Canada or HRSDC estimates that occupational injury costs to the Canadian economy total to more than $19 billion each year, with direct and indirect costs factored in.
While the rate of work-related injury has declined steadily since 1987, it cannot be denied that workplace safety still needs to be improved. Injury prevention and injury reduction must be the main goal without sacrificing productivity.
Employers and employees must work together to succeed in this endeavour. Here are some tips for effective injury reduction in the workplace.
Train employees to identify work hazards. If your workers are constantly exposed to hazardous substances, they should be equipped with proper information on how to deal with them. Make sure machine operators undergo training and appreciate the importance of workplace safety. Be strict about facility rules, such as no smoking policies, and explain the consequences of disobeying them.
Provide proper protective equipment. Knowing the work hazards employees might encounter is only half the battle. Ensure they have the correct PPE or Personal Protective Equipment to protect certain body parts at all times. If you cannot provide each worker with a set of equipment, such as hard hats and safety goggles, assign key locations where they can be stored. Conduct regular maintenance checks to make sure they are not damaged and are still good to use.
Place appropriate warning signs. For compliance and injury prevention, display signs that remind employees to keep safety top of mind. Whether it’s a confined space, a chemical storage area, or a blasting site, everyone should be informed and warned to proceed with caution and proper protection.
Make first aid materials accessible. While injury prevention is what we are aiming for, being ready when disaster strikes is also an essential step. Employees should know what to do when an accident occurs, and basic first aid should be one of them. Place first aid stations in key areas and regularly check that they are well-stocked. Display posters and hazard alerts all over the work place to help remind workers of how to deal with injury and hazards.
Workplace injuries hinder productivity and cause down time. Your facility can reduce and prevent injuries with proper training and the right equipment.