They say that no man is an island. When it comes to avoiding workplace injuries, this is certainly true. Even the most careful and conscientious worker can get a wrench dropped on his head by a careless coworker. Workplace safety is a team sport that everyone needs to practice in order for the company to have a winning season.
When a work accident does occur, a top workers compensation attorney in Chapel Hill, NC, can help you get the most from your claim.
Like any good team, success starts in training camp. In this case, that means that all of your employees must receive the proper workplace training to make them aware of the hazards they face and the methods they are expected to employ in order to reduce risks to a minimum.
Having the proper equipment on hand is the key to success in any profession. A ballerina needs the proper ballet shoes to be en pointe. The pro football linebacker needs a solid pair of shoulder pads to stop that running back. So too must your employees have their full complement of safety equipment on hand at all times. Even the best training in the world and the most attentive employees are useless if they do not have the requisite tools to do their jobs safely.
One of the best ways to reduce the frequency of workplace accidents is to cut down on the opportunities that exist to cause one. Pick up around the jobsite so that there is no excess clutter lying everywhere for people to stumble over. Cart away all excess materials so that the employees have an unimpaired line of sight wherever possible. Be aware of the role that gravity plays in our world. Things that are placed up high can fall down on those below. Make sure that elevated items are always secure.
It only takes a moment to cause a serious accident. Work to prevent those moments by eliminating or reducing the available supply of distractions. Unauthorized personnel can certainly draw attention away from the job at hand, so make sure that untrained individuals stay clear of the workplace. Loud music can drown out warning alerts when something is going wrong or about to go wrong.
Trying to hurry is another prime factor in causing work injuries. It is only natural that schedules sometimes slip and an extra effort is needed to get things back into the planned track of performance. Yet this often results in short-circuiting the normal protective routines of the job.
Working safely always entails taking an extra bit of time in order to get things done. Rushing things means that margin of caution gets reduced or jettisoned entirely in order to catch up. There are better ways of doing so than taking unnecessary chances. Bringing in some temporary help to manage the glut is one way of increasing productivity without sacrificing the norms of workplace safety.
A related factor to this need for speed is found in the well-documented risk of fatigue on the job. People start working overtime and their bodies are not accustomed to this extra demand. More importantly, the need for haste coupled with a disregard for normal operating procedures requires one to be exceptionally alert, which is never a hallmark of someone who is fatigued. The brain often slips into its normal comfortable routine and ends up processing inputs at a slower speed than they appear. The result is noticeably longer reaction times and more accidents.
To sum things up, avoiding workplace injuries requires everyone to be on board with accident prevention. Management needs to provide the proper equipment, training, and policies. Labor needs to understand that these policies are ultimately to their own benefit and carry them out faithfully. Deviations from this cooperative effort are how accidents become more than just an occasional freak occurrence but rather an everyday risk of being on the job.