Workplace Accidents: How to Avoid and Deal with Them When They Happen

When you think of workplace injuries, what comes to your mind? Many people immediately think of labor-intensive jobs like construction or mining, but the truth is that accidents and injuries can occur in just about any company; it just occurs at a higher rate in certain industries. The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health reports work-related injuries and deaths to be in the thousands every year.

That’s a lot of workplace accidents that you don’t want your company to be a part of. Although accidents can’t be avoided, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be prevented.

Prevent Workplace Injuries

If you want to decrease the chances of workplace injuries in your own business, here are a few safety precautions you can make:

A clutter-free workspace is an accident-proof workspace

There’s a reason why most established companies like to keep their workers’ desks clean. A clean work area does more than just maintain your office aesthetics, it helps prevent accidents from happening.

Keeping an office as accident-free as possible is very similar to baby-proofing a home. Things like unsecured cords and cables could create a tripping hazard for you and your colleagues. That cute lid-less mug you got at Starbucks? You could spill coffee over the wiring and set fire to the whole office!

Service company vehicles regularly

Depending on your line of business, providing a car to your employees might be in the company’s best interests. But it might also be in your company’s best interests to maintain and service those vehicles on a regular basis.

Although it might seem like added expenses on your monthly or quarterly budget, getting those brakes and tires checked can actually save your company a lot in the long run. The bill for accidents caused by lack of car maintenance runs up to $2 billion a year, according to a study by the Association for Safe International Road Travel. Plus, imagine all the medical bills you might have to end up forking over if your employee does get injured because of unchecked brake fluids.

Note that poor maintenance is among the top 4 common causes of all accidents:

Snitches won’t get stitches!

Every employee knows that when something bad happens at the office, they are contractually obligated to report it. But not a lot of employees think proactively. As they say, “Prevention is better than cure.” Encouraging your employees to prevent safety hazards like exposed wiring, broken machinery, or even something as simple as a wobbly office chair can help prevent work injuries before they happen.

As mentioned before, accidents at work do happen and they can’t be avoided. Now here’s a list of precautions you can observe to help you deal with them:

Report a situation ASAP

Accidents, no matter how big or small, should be reported. Most employees don’t think much of an incident unless it’s a serious case, but even something as simple as a broken light switch should be reported as soon as possible.
Reported accidents are like the silver lining in that dark grey cloud of trouble–this at least tells you what needs to be improved in your workplace.

Employees might also find it in their best interests to report accidents as soon as possible; you see, workers’ compensation claims have to be filed in a short amount of time. Depending on which state you’re in, there are varying statutes on the amount of time that passes between when an accident happens and when it should be reported. In Pennsylvania for example, employees are required to report any injuries to their employer within 21 days, or risk voiding their eligibility for workers’ comp.

Prevent Workplace Injuries

It’s okay to ask for help

Most work-related incidents can be handled swiftly and correctly without phoning for help. Although this process chart created by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry can help you in dealing with workers’ comp, there might be some circumstances that complicate the process of filing workers’ compensation; some professional help might be needed. There are tons of workers’ compensation lawyers in Allentown, PA; it’s a matter of finding the right person who works for you.

Keeping these tips in mind can definitely help you and your business be as accident-free as possible. They can even save you and your bottom line from headaches in the long run. Remember, prevention is key.