Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, security and safety are just some of the most basic needs for us to function as an individual entirely. In the workplace, security and safety are needed for workers and employees to be productive and functional in their tasks. After all, it’s difficult to perform tasks for work if some hazards and obstacles are continually hindering the flow of work.
Not only do occupational hazards increase the likelihood of injuries from happening in the workplace, but this can be costly. Most business organizations are quite keen on how insurance companies measure the risk of getting injured in such businesses.
Throughout the last few years, the number of injuries in the workplace has slowly declined. But although cases have decreased, the number of work-related fatalities have increased. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that 2008 has one of the highest fatalities throughout the past decade.
So what are some key ways of reducing severe and often fatal injuries in the workplace? How can we draw up a plan in methodically mitigating the likelihood of injuries from happening? Most experts have devised a systematic “hierarchy” incorporated into any business model to ensure that employees are in good condition. Here’s what you should know.
Risk and Hazard Identification
First and foremost, employees must be aware of the potential hazards and risks that specific workplaces have. Dangers and risks at the workplace will usually be determined by the nature of work and the work area. Some government organizations, such as the Livery Mutual Research Institute for Safety, have designed a safety index that comprehensively identifies top workplace injuries.
Research has concluded that the following are the top main contributors to work-related injuries:
- Falling on the same floor and falling towards lower floors.
- Overexertion in physically-intensive tasks
- Being struck by an object or a piece of machinery
- Physical hazards in the form of slipping, falling, and sometimes catching objects that are falling.
It’s important to note that many risks associated with the workplace are often related to concussion and trauma. While injuries to different body parts are usually non-fatal, concussions can often lead to brain injuries.
In most cases, falls and workplace accidents where employees are struck by blunt objects or machinery can be costly while having serious legal implications. Most companies and businesses that manage manufacturing, construction, and industrial facilities will need to be aware of hazards in such areas.
Still, it’s essential to consult an expert that’s well-versed in work-related injuries and concerns. You might want to reach out to a brain injury lawyer regarding work-related incidents. Not only will this give you much-needed information on how labor laws work regarding such a situation, but this can ensure that you’re mitigating any injuries that might happen in the near future.
Most experts who have created the index would assume that the number of work-related incidents will increase in the coming years. Thus, companies and business organizations are urged to invest in safety equipment while strictly upholding precautionary safety measures.
A Methodical Approach to Safety
Having a systematic approach is considered to be one of the best practices in minimizing injuries. Here are some of the ordered tiers that businesses can follow:
- Eliminating Hazards – Businesses should address potential safety hazards in the workplace as soon as possible. For instance, wet floors can lead to employees sliding, which can cause injuries. This issue should be remedied as quickly as possible.
- Substituting – In certain situations, dangers can come in the form of biological hazards such as contaminants. Is it possible to replace these substances with safer counterparts?
- Engineered Control – Most workplace injuries in the industrial setting are often caused by machinery. Specific failsafe protocols and equipment should be in place to mitigate harm. For instance, guardrails at certain heights can stop harming individuals.
- Management Control – Properly educating employees and training them on what to do in specific environments can keep them alert.
Businesses and companies will need to comprehensively identify potential hazards and risks in the workplace to ensure employee safety and working productivity. Although safety equipment can sometimes be a bit expensive, it is a necessity, nonetheless. While most employers will need to spend more on safety equipment, it’s better than risking workers’ lives and subsequently spending thousands of dollars for the hospitalization process. Still, workers should be mindful of their surroundings in the workplace. After all, safety should be the priority in the workplace. No lives should be at risk when at the workplace.