What Small Business Owners Need to Know: Workplace Accidents
Are you a small business owner?
Are you prepared for the risk of workplace incidents?
Although more workplace incidents occur in large manufacturing companies, the incident rate of workplace incidents is similar in both large and small businesses. But small businesses typically don’t have the infrastructure in place to manage workplace incidents. Thus, one safety incident can result in increased workers’ compensation insurance premiums, putting a major strain on a small business’ ability to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Additionally, workplace incidents reduce worker productivity and can negatively affect company morale.
What are common causes of workplace incidents?
Workplace incidents can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from fatigue to hazardous materials. Here are a few of the more common causes:
- Repetitive Movements – Leading to injuries and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fatigue – Working beyond exhaustion, resulting in impaired judgement and lack of attention.
- Stress — Causing distraction and a higher risk of making mistakes. Furthermore, stress increases risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.
- Collisions — Moving quickly through hallways and colliding with another person or object, causing injuries, especially if carrying sharp objects or hot liquids.
- Slips and Falls – Slip and fall injuries caused by slippery substances not properly cleaned up, objects left in walkways, or carpet or cords not properly secured.
- Lifting Objects – Risking injury by lifting objects that are too heavy or without using proper lifting techniques/body positioning.
- Hazardous Materials – Failure to use proper protection which may result in burns, explosions and health problems.
- Falling Objects — Risking injury from falling objects on high shelves or cabinets.
- Workplace Violence – Disgruntled employees or estranged spouses seeking revenge against another in the workplace.
Small business owners should lower workplace incident risks by:
- Taking time to put proper workplace safety measures in place, installing proper signage, performing regular safety assessments, providing safety training, and being proactive with potential risks.
- Preventing injuries by keeping common areas free of obstacles, keeping all areas well-lit, and cleaning up any spills quickly.
- Working with staff to reduce repetitive stress movements by building breaks into the schedule, using ergonomic tools, and installing proper lighting.
- Ensuring that workers wear proper protective clothing when working with hazardous materials.
- Providing safety training and proper equipment so that employees doing heavy lifting are wearing back braces and using proper lifting techniques to protect against injury.
- Training staff members how to reduce stress and avoid distraction that can cause workplace accidents.
- Securing furniture and items on top so that objects won’t come tumbling down if the structure gets bumped.
- Encouraging employees to think about safety, reminding employees to follow policies and procedures, and instituting incentives for focusing on safety.
In addition, prepare your business in the case of a workplace incident by:
- Keeping a comprehensive first-aid kit that employees can quickly access in case of an injury.
- Purchasing good insurance from a reliable agent.
- Maintaining an incident report log with details in case there is ever a workers’ compensation claim.
The costs of workplace injuries for a small business can be significant, affecting productivity and the bottom line. But taking the steps above will help you to provide a safer work environment that can drive productivity and employee morale.
Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida. The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work. Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.