Safety PAYS in the Workplace
Studies estimate that full-time custodians are injured on the job sometimes as much as two times more than other workers in the private industry. In addition to slip, trip and fall hazards, janitorial workers have a higher-than-normal exposure to dangerous fumes and are at greater risk for chemical burns from harsh cleaning agents. Heavy lifting and repetitive motions also often contribute to a higher rate of musculoskeletal injuries.
Workplace injuries such as these not only affect the employee. They also have a major impact on the employer’s bottom line and include both direct and indirect costs.
Direct costs include workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses and legal services. Indirect costs include training and replacing employees, investigating accidents, lost productivity, repairing damaged equipment or property and employee absenteeism. And, of course, workplace injuries almost certainly drive up insurance premiums.
Here are 5 ways to make the workplace safer for everyone:
- INVEST IN SAFETY TRAINING. Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” He was right. Studies show that successful health and safety programs can reduce injury and illness between 20 and 40 percent. In addition, safety training improves employee recruitment and retention. Approximately 40 percent of employees who do not receive adequate training leave within the first year.
- PURCHASE SAFE CLEANING PRODUCTS. With the wide availability of safe cleaning products on the market today, many insurance providers are willing to lower insurance premiums for employers who use the least harmful options.
- KEEP THE WORKSPACE CLEAN AND UNCLUTTERED. Slip and fall accidents or tripping over coworkers’ belongings are two of the most common type of workplace injuries. Encourage employees to keep hallways and aisles clear and to clean up water spills immediately.
- MONITOR STRESS AND FATIGUE. Memory lapses, difficulty concentrating and slow reaction times are signs of stressed or tired employees and increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Encourage employees to take regular breaks to de-stress, rest and restore concentration.
- LOOK FOR STATE-SPONSORED DISCOUNTS. Business owners have a duty to keep employees safe, and some states offer government-funded incentive programs to do just that. For example, in Oklahoma, small businesses that commit to safety training and complete a comprehensive survey at each facility can receive a 15 percent reduction in their workers’ comp insurance premium. Several states also offer insurance reductions for drug-free workplaces.
At 4M, we are always looking for ways to make the facilities we clean as safe as possible. It’s just another way we deliver the best, innovative and safe cleaning solutions for your business. CLICK HERE to learn more.