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Published on Jan 30
Protecting the safety of employees is a primary responsibility for every employer. However, even the most well-trained teams can face the realities of workplace accidents. By understanding the causes of many of the most common injuries, you can help your employees enjoy a safer work environment while reducing your workers’ compensation costs. Here are several of the most common preventable injuries, their causes, and steps that can be taken to reduce or eliminate them.
Slips, Trips, & Falls
Most slips, trips, and falls (STF) injuries are caused by tripping over loose cords, bumping into equipment and losing balance, wet floors and loose mats or carpets. They are one of the most commonly reported preventable injuries, but also some of the easiest injuries to eliminate.
Some basic prevention methods to limit the likelihood of a slip, trip, or fall include:
- Cleaning up all spills immediately. After cleanup, place “wet floor” signs around the area to ensure that employees know to exercise extra caution.
- Keep work spaces and walkways clear, tidy, and free of clutter, debris, and obstacles.
- Ensure that employees close filing cabinets and desk drawers when not in use.
- Cover cables and cords in walkways.
- Encourage employees to wear proper footwear with good traction.
- Train employees to fall “properly” to minimize fall injuries.
Back & Shoulder Injuries
For those in the manufacturing, service, or construction industries, lifting and moving heavy objects safely is key to avoiding these preventable injuries. Minimizing back and shoulder strains and sprains requires proper training and for employees to understand their physical limitations.
Some basic prevention methods include:
- Asking for assistance when lifting heavy objects or utilizing lifting equipment, if necessary.
- Using proper posture when sitting or standing.
- Providing padded mats for employees to stand on, particularly if they are required to stand in one place for a majority of their shift.
- Allowing for frequent rest periods to minimize the long-term impact of repetitive stress.
- Training employees on proper lifting techniques.
Winter slips and falls can happen in any workplace, to any employee, and can cause serious injuries including concussions, broken bones, sprains, and other preventable injuries.
To limit the number of ice falls your employees experience, you should employee basic prevention methods including:
- Set clear expectations for snow and ice removal.
- Apply salt and other surface treatments to melt icy spots.
- Identify potholes, cracks, and any other areas where water can accumulate and freeze. Repair these areas if necessary, or place warning signs near them to notify employees that extra caution is needed.
- Maintain lighting in parking lots and along sidewalks to make it easier for employees to see patches of snow and ice.
- Maintain or install handrails along stairs or slanted walkways.
- Review the previous year’s injury reports to determine problem areas and address them accordingly.
- Clean up snow and ice that has been tracked indoors. Use “wet floor” signs to ensure that employees use caution in these areas.
- Require all employees to wear anti-slip shoes/grips during inclement weather.
Work with your MCO to prevent workplace injuries
Don’t wait until an injury occurs to act. Working with the experts at your Ohio managed care organization (MCO) to identify and put a stop to preventable injuries in the workplace can help you reduce your workers’ compensation premiums, avoid lost productivity, and keep your employees safer in the workplace.