There are many aspects of running a business that are easy to predict but anticipating which worksite accident may lurk around the corner is not one of them. While job-related injuries have dropped significantly over the past decade, there are still over 5,000 a year and that’s enough reason for businesses to have a jobsite safety plan.
Here are some general guidelines to help employees remain safe on the job. Rural Mutual agents can provide more expertise, training and resources on these topics:
Create a Written Safety Plan
For businesses of any size, a safety plan which outlines specific procedures and protocol for protecting workers is recommended. These plans are typically updated on an annual basis and tested with regular practice drills.
With the Rural Mutual Nurse Hotline, businesses receive posters and labels that display the proper safety plan when a work Injury occurs. They can hang these around the workspace to be visible by all employees.
Providing the right protective gear for workers is essential to minimize exposure to safety hazards that can cause injuries or illness from contact with chemical, mechanical or other workplace hazards. According to OSHA, protective equipment include things like gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
“First aid kits should always be stocked with supplies that are appropriate to the work taking place from larger bandages to saline solution,” said Chris Schlechta, Safety and Loss Control Manager for Rural Mutual.
Provide sufficient training
It’s essential that employers provide training for both current and new employees on any equipment being used in the workplace. You shouldn’t assume that workers who have years of experience will be able to operate equipment without some level of training. It is always a good idea to review procedures on how to operate equipment safely with current employees as well. Make sure that staff is also well aware of geographic markers around their site so that if an emergency occurs, they will be able to quickly alert 911 to their location.
Your safety plan is only as good as the people who use it. Make sure that all workers are empowered to report safety concerns to a supervisor, foreperson or senior management. If a hazard is reported, management must be trained to act on the concern or face serious consequences such as legal actions. Take time during new employee orientations to discuss a ‘see something, say something’ policy concerning safety issues.
Promote good housekeeping practices
When it comes to trade environments, cleaning is a year-round responsibility and one of the best ways to prevent accidents. Make sure your workspace:
- Follows proper illumination requirements
- Maintains clean work surface areas such as floors, bench tops, desks, shelves
- Encourage safe storage of supplies and equipment
- Prepares for proper response to chemical spills
- Maintains clutter-free emergency exits
Remember that each company needs to create a custom safety plan that meets their specific needs. The most important thing is that employees are aware of it and even better, involved in the development.
Workplace Safety Support and Resources
Safety is our business. As a Rural Mutual client, you will get access to hundreds of workplace safety resources and training materials. Based on your policy, our loss control team provides continued support, on-site training and custom safety plans. Not only are we here to protect your investment and employees, but our team will assist your business by creating a proactive approach to safety in the workplace.
As part of your job safety guidelines, also be sure to review your insurance policies to make sure that they are up-to-date and provide the most comprehensive coverage necessary, including worker’s compensation, for your workplace environment.
Rural Mutual has been protecting Wisconsin businesses for more than 85 years. In a world full of difficult choices, insuring your business with Rural Mutual is an easy one. Find and contact a local Rural Mutual Insurance agent for more information or request a quote online to start the conversation!