Millions of workplace accidents occur every year. Recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that over 3 million people suffered from non-fatal, work related injuries in 2013. Of the reported injuries, 327,060 involved sprains, strains, and tears, 229,190 cases involving slip and fall injuries, and over 170,000 injuries to the back.
While it’s unclear if these incidents occurred due to a lack of a safety plan, workplace injuries can be prevented and any present safety plans can always be updated and improved.
What is a Workplace Safety Plan?
A workplace safety plan consists of policies and work practices that are designed by the company to be implemented by all employees of the company. An effective and successful safety plan is based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and the mission of the plan is to practice and improve safety within the workplace.
Regardless of your company’s size or the type of labor performed, safety is essential. A safety plan will not only reduce the potential for workplace injuries or deaths, but it will also be less costly and will keep morale higher (no one likes to work in an unsafe environment).
We’re Just a Small Startup Company… Do We Need a Safety Plan?
Even the smallest of companies, who don’t have “high risk” jobs, should still have a safety plan. You don’t have to work at a construction site or in a factory to be at risk for workplace injuries. Even offices can be dangerous workplaces. The National Safety Council reports that falls are the most common injury in the office. Secondly, employees may also be struck by or against objects (such as filing drawers) and suffer ergonomic injuries (improper chairs or desks).
If you own a specialty shop or a storefront business, think of some of the dangers that could lead to workplace injuries and the need for a safety plan. For example, what would you do if:
● An employee was injured by falling inventory (such as big heavy boxes in a stockroom)?
● A violent act takes place in your establishment?
● A fire broke out in your store or office?
● An employee or customer is injured when he or she trips on a cord or electrocuted when a cord is damaged?
There are numerous scenarios that could take place and as a business owner, it is up to you to value safety, practice it, and create a plan that is easy to follow and understand. Need help getting started? There are many sample workplace safety plans available on the web.
Why Should I Create A Safety Plan?
While it would be nice (and pretty easy) to tell everyone to “just be careful” and have it work, workplace accidents happen unexpectedly. It would also be great just to hang up an OSHA poster and tell people to follow it, but again, accidents happen. It’s up to you to lead the way. Why should you create a safety plan? You will save yourself money in the long run. You will show your employees that you care. Employees are more likely to be safe if there’s a safety plan in place. Overall, it’s just the right thing to do.
Show your employees and customers that you value their safety, implement a safety plan today.