Workplace injury prevention is a win-win for everyone involved. For employees, workplace safety ensures that workers can do their jobs with a sense of security and well-being. For employers, proper workplace safety measures protect companies from lawsuits and negative attention that can hurt their bottom line.
The team at Aoudi Law is comprised of experts in the field of California workers’ compensation. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys have helped countless workers across all industries obtain compensation following a workplace injury.
Although California workplace injury lawyers earn a living helping people who have been injured at work, most would be happy to see workplace injuries eliminated altogether. With that in mind, the staff at Aoudi Law has put together the following list of six ways of preventing workplace injuries.
#1. Come up with a workplace safety plan.
Having procedures in place to address employee safety is vital.
Consider the following formula for developing an employee safety/wellness plan:
- Inform employees regarding the benefits of safety and the importance of a plan to benefit everyone in the workplace. Doing so lets them know that you value them and their safety and ensure that everyone is on board. By outlining your safety goals, employees are more likely to cooperate, and your plan will run more smoothly.
- Assess any workplace risks or hazards. This overall assessment can be a group effort. By making employees aware of the plan, they can be involved in its creation. One great way to encourage involvement is to release a survey asking them to identify potential workplace risk factors. You may also consider implementing a rule requiring employees to report potential hazards. These are great ways to ensure that nothing will be overlooked in creating your workplace safety plan.
- Next, start to create your workplace protocols and guidelines for employee safety based on the hazards and risks that have been identified. You can get suggestions and ideas from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) sample program documents.
- Once your workplace safety plan is finalized, share it with employees and educate them about its guidelines. Implement training programs if necessary.
- Implement your safety plan and continue to evaluate it. Maybe something in your plan is not working as well as expected. When this happens, make the necessary adjustments, but don’t forget to keep your employees in the loop.
#2. Implement clear-cut policies around safety.
Once you have a safety plan and have evaluated the effectiveness of that plan, you must implement workplace safety policies that are clear and easy to follow. Again, proper communication will be the key to preventing workplace injuries and ensuring everyone is on board with your workplace safety policies. That is why it is imperative that employers keep an open mind and always encourage their employees to ask questions, especially if aspects of the workplace safety plan and policies are unclear to them.
Since 1991, California law has required that every employer in the state provide a written, effective Injury and Illness Prevention program.
#3. Provide workplace safety training to your employees.
Workplace safety training programs significantly cut down on injuries and accidents. Health and safety training is critical in many industries using large equipment, heavy machinery, or toxic substances, including mining, construction, manufacturing, or other sectors.
In addition to providing new employees with proper workplace safety training, existing employees should have refresher training regularly, allowing you to outline new guidelines or innovations that may have changed since they last received training.
#4. Foster an environment of wellness.
Employers should encourage workers to remain physically and mentally fit, enabling peak workplace performance.
Consider the following:
- Set an example. The “do as I say, not as I do” attitude won’t cut it if you want employees to maintain their mental well-being. Be a living example.
- Let them know you care. An employer’s actions always speak louder than their words. So check in on your employees regularly and let them know that you genuinely care about their well-being.
- Invest in their well-being. Implement employee assistance programs (EAPs) to improve your employees’ overall health and well-being.
- Address their overall well-being. EAPs can include financial management programs, career advancement training, mental health assistance, and so much more, allowing you to help them holistically.
#5. Always foster an orderly work environment.
By maintaining order in the workplace, you can reduce hazards that can result in a workplace injury. However, an orderly workplace also has many other benefits, including increased productivity and mood enhancement.
Consider including an orderly work environment section in your safe workplace plan and give your employees pointers on maintaining such an orderly environment, encouraging cooperation among your staff.
#6. Conduct regular emergency drills
Don’t confuse emergency drills with workplace training. While training is usually announced ahead of time, a workplace emergency drill will not be.
By holding surprise emergency drills, you can assess the readiness of your employees and how well they understand your existing safety plan and policies.
Ensuring Workplace Safety: The Bottom Line
After implementing these six tips for preventing workplace injury, create evaluation metrics to help determine how well your employees are understating the guidelines and procedures that you have put forth. Then, you can set up re-training protocols for anyone who might fail your evaluation.
You can prevent on-the-job injuries by creating plans and policies, properly implementing them, and making sure everyone understands them.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job in California and you are ready to file a workers’ compensation claim, call or text 714-386-9874 today for a free evaluation.