A Guide to Preventing Workplace Illness and Injury
A central tenant of good management is avoiding fatalities, illness and injuries among employees. Although it may seem like a daunting task and a heavy responsibility, there are resources available to help mitigate those risks.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that enforces workplace safety. OSHA isn’t merely a punitive body that targets businesses; it can also be a tool that prudent managers can use.
There are programs that OSHA has for smaller organizations, including the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) and Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). Both SHARP and VPP have proven track records of success that result in less turnover, greater productivity, satisfaction and fewer injuries.
To be effective, the programs have to give employees the chance to give input on the safety risks of their specific duties and tasks. That goes a long way towards preventing accidents, as it comes straight from the front-line employees that directly encounter them.
There needs to be a clear chain of command for those programs. Managers need to designate and delegate who will be in charge and give them what they need to make them work.
Those programs need to be kept active and updated. Employees, and those placed in charge of them, need to be involved in investigating any incidents. They must also be involved in routine inspections of operations.
It’s important that employees feel free to report any issues without fear of retaliation. Just remember that the intention of the program is to protect them.
Any injuries or common recurring illnesses related to the workplace should be investigated. That way, issues can be identified and mitigated. Make sure workers are always made aware of hazards and participate in discussions and decisions involving control measures.
If control measures are put in place, follow up to make sure they done properly and whether or not they’re effective. Educate employees in advance and provide them with easy-to-understand materials that are instantly accessible. Do these sessions on a regular basis.
Lastly, track your organization’s overall progress. Positive progress also gives you good news to report to employees. Including incentives for good performance and achieving workplace safety goals can also go a long way towards ensuring the successful implementation of these programs and preventing workplace illness and injury.
The staff at ABI Insurance is more than happy to help answer any questions that may come up, to ensure that the entity you’re managing is covered and as protected against risk as possible.
ABI Insurance has additional loss control resources and hotlines for management liability issues. Ask your agent if you have an incident or potential situation developing so they can bring the best resources to bear on your behalf.
For more information on the products and services offered by ABI, call 503-292-1580 or go to https://abipdx.com/.