According to statistics published by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) in 2016, nearly three million injuries and illnesses were reported in American workplaces during that year, which is approximately 2.9 cases for every 100 employees working on a full-time basis. On average, each serious injury and illness reported to OSHA results in a loss of eight working days. Setting aside the loss of productivity, each injury or illness caused by workplace conditions or accidents has the potential of turning into a workers’ compensation claim, an OSHA complaint, or a lawsuit. In addition to purchasing reliable commercial insurance, San Diego business owners interested in minimizing injury, illness, and liability in their companies should keep the following recommendations in mind.
1. Review the Law
In the Golden State, employers are required to establish a written program to prevent illness and injuries at work. The legal framework can be found in Title 8, section 3203 of the California Code of Regulations. Moreover, employers can use an online tool found at the website of the Department of Industrial Relations to create this program:
2. Consider Ergonomics
Employers should not assume only factories and warehouses present injury risks to their workers. A substantial amount of repetitive strain injuries reported to OSHA originate from office settings that lack ergonomics. Such injuries can be prevented with office furniture that provides proper lumbar support, viewing angles, and upper limb placement. Business owners can get ergonomics recommendations from their insurance agents.
3. Provide Protective Clothing and Accessories
Hardhats, gloves, and goggles are items employers should not assume their employees will automatically provide or wear on their own. Whenever a job activity requires protective equipment, employers should rush to provide it and instruct supervisors to enforce wearing it.
4. Test for Respiratory Hazards
Employees who mysteriously develop headaches, breathing discomfort, and unexplained itching may be exposed to unknown respiratory hazards in the workplace. Sick building syndrome is an occupational health term used to describe the phenomenon of workers becoming progressively ill with symptoms that cannot be immediately justified. When this happens, employers should take action and have their indoor air quality evaluated.
5. Recognize Unsafe Work Conditions
It is easy to accept accidents can happen at work. However, it is unacceptable to not do anything about the conditions that cause accidents. If kitchen workers are slipping on the section of the floor that connects with the dining room, this unsafe condition should be acknowledged so a slip-resistant mat can be placed there as soon as possible.
6. Reward Positive Attitudes Toward Safety
Employees who are proactive about safety should be recognized and rewarded for their contributions. If a fiberglass worker suggests trying out a different brand of protective suit because the current brand rips apart too easily, he or she could be rewarded for the idea with a special lunch or a paid day off.
From commercial auto insurance to workers’ compensation insurance, San Diego business owners should make sure to have adequate coverage for their company. Reach out to American Tri-Star for all your commercial insurance needs. To speak with one of our friendly agents and receive a complimentary quote, call 619-272-2100 today.