One severe workplace accident can cause catastrophic injuries, or even death. Along with the anxiety and fear that a workplace accident brings, it can also cause:
- Substantial Medical Bills
- The Loss Of Productivity Of Affected Workers
- Workers’ Compensation Paperwork
- Possible Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA) Inspections
- Lowered Morale
The following are some ways to prevent an accident from occurring in the workplace and ensure that employees stay safe and protected.
1. Safety First
Safety should always be your company’s number one priority. From the top management to the worker hired yesterday, every employee should understand that safety is prioritized in the workplace. All safety procedures and protocols should be written down, included in employee handbooks, and posted throughout the workplace, where appropriate.
Companies should ensure that all employees sign documentation indicating that they are aware of the safety standards of the employer and agree to always abide by the protocols provided.
2. Training and Education
Along with including safety protocols in employee handbooks and providing information to newly hired employees, continued education and training should be provided and encouraged, to keep the workplace safe. Workers should be trained on all aspects of their job, as well as how to properly use all equipment and machinery to ensure the prevention of accidents.
3. Hire Qualified Workers
It is critical that employers take the time to hire qualified employees for the job. Many safety-related certifications exist that could benefit the company’s overall understanding of how to keep the premises safe. If an applicant boasts that they have a certain certification, the program (as well as an applicant’s work history) should be thoroughly investigated before they are hired.
Another way to ensure that workers are qualified for certain positions is to conduct pre-placement physicals when appropriate. This screening process can safeguard both the newly hired employee as well as other employees that would depend on that worker and ensure that all workers are matched to tasks appropriate to their physical ability.
4. Hire Enough Workers
Oftentimes, accidents occur due to understaffing and overworking of current employees. When companies fail to meet adequate staffing levels, many employees may suffer from fatigue or stress, which can cause subsequent workplace accidents. One way to prevent stress during busy seasons of operation is to hire part-time or seasonal staff.
5. Provide Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment (PPE) should always be provided for every employee for all appropriate tasks, in order to ensure safety and the prevention of accidents. Every employee should be trained on the PPE they need for specific tasks, and PPE should always receive regular maintenance and testing to determine efficacy and reliability.
6. Ensure Routine Maintenance of Equipment
In many cases, work accidents occur due to some failure of equipment, vehicles, or machinery. An employer should always conduct proper and appropriate routine maintenance of machinery and equipment used by employees.
Any machinery or equipment that is faulty or in need of repair should be immediately serviced or replaced. An employer should also alert their employees to any faulty or defective equipment and document all maintenance records.
7. Conduct Safety Inspections
Along with routine maintenance of machinery and equipment, an employer should also conduct complete hazard identification and assessment throughout the entire workplace on a regular and consistent basis. These safety inspections should encourage employees to speak out about any possible workplace hazards. Employers should also complete an inspection of all current safeguards in place at the company, to make sure standards are effective and relevant.
Safety measures should be reinforced at these times, and companies can even offer rewards to workers who meet or exceed safety standards.
8. Maintain a Safe Environment
Make the maintenance of a safe environment part of the daily activities of your workers.
- Keep The Grounds Of Your Company Clean
- Make Sure Equipment Is Always Serviced Regularly
- Incorporate A Wellness And Safety Plan For All Employees To Follow
- Keep Debris Out Of Walkways
- Ensure Spills Are Cleaned In A Timely Manner
- Create A Culture Of Safety In Your Company
Ensuring that workers have a safe space to complete tasks is just smart business.
9. Research Vulnerabilities
If there are any near-misses, or minor accidents that occur in the workplace (or severe accidents that have occurred in the past), make sure to take the time to investigate these accidents carefully. Determine what—if anything—could have been done to prevent these accidents, and create new safety strategies to address these issues for the future.
10. Encourage Employee Comments
Many employees are fearful to come forward to their employers regarding safety issues for fear of being fired or their employer retaliating against them. Have a suggestion box or encourage employees with incentives to help find creative solutions to keep the workplace safe for them and their coworkers.
Contact a Workplace Accident Attorney
If you were injured in the workplace due to safety measures that were not taken, or hazardous or dangerous work conditions, contact a construction accident attorney at Oresky & Associates, pllc.
We represent workplace accident victims throughout the greater New York, NY region. Call us today at (718) 993-9999 for a free consultation. We may be able to pursue:
- Lost Union Benefits
- Money Damages For Past Pain And Suffering Caused By Injuries
- Money Damages For Future Pain And Suffering Caused By Injuries
- And More