For businesses that claim to care about the well-being of their employees, it’s evident in how they address accident and injury risk factors. Do nothing and you’ll come across as careless. Prioritize injury prevention and employee engagement, though, and you’ll get a serious boost.
3 Ways to Reduce Workplace Injuries
Employees in every industry are susceptible to injury, but it’s no secret that injury rates are higher in warehouses and similar facilities.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the ten most common causes of warehouse accidents are forklifts, hazard communication, electrical wiring methods, electrical system design, guarding floor and wall openings/holes, exits, mechanical power transmission, respiratory protection, lockout/tagout, and fires and explosions.
While you probably already know what the biggest risk factors in your warehouse are, here are some of the top tips and strategies for preventing injury and promoting employee safety.
Adamantly Discourage Shortcuts
Hiring talented employees is an important step in human resource management, but you also need to provide these individuals with proper training. This includes training on processes, machinery, and proper behavior. In particular, one thing that you need to emphasize is the danger of trying to take shortcuts.
“It’s natural to want to get the job finished on schedule – or even ahead of time – but with a ‘get it done quick’ attitude, accidents happen. Don’t take shortcuts – stick to the instructions and work with diligence and awareness of your surroundings,” explains Arbill, a leader in corporate safety training. “Also, if there are shortcomings in the instructions, don’t begin the work until they are clarified and all your questions are answered! You must always be comfortable and familiar with the procedure before commencing any work.”
Use the Right Machinery
You can hire the right people and train them to mastery, but there will always be certain human limitations in a warehouse. At some point, you have to invest in machinery. Some machinery improves efficiency, while other machinery enhances safety. Then there’s the rare piece of equipment that increases both efficiency and safety. When investing in machinery, be on the lookout for things like industrial manipulators.
“Industrial manipulators and lift assists are designed to aide employees in the safe and speedy movement of bulky or heavy materials,” explains Dalmec, a leading provider of manipulators. “In general, companies that install industrial manipulators see a decrease in injuries related to both accidents and employee mistakes. Take Ford, for example. They saw a 70% reduction in assembly line injury rates when they incorporated lift assist technology into their production line safety plans.”
Preventing workplace injury requires a team effort. When one person does something risky, you need other employees and managers to call out the behavior and suggest a different way of doing things.
Accountability will naturally occur in some situations, but it’s easy for certain behaviors to go undetected. To ensure people are speaking up, try rewarding accountability. This creates a culture where everyone is looking out for the best interests of peers and coworkers.
Emphasizing Employees Over Profits
Not every injury or accident can be prevented, but there are always practical steps you can take to lower risk and promote employee safety. At the end of the day, it all comes down to where your priorities lie.
If your chief concern is profitability, employees will ultimately be viewed as dispensable. However, if your primary objective is to build a safe and sustainable business that prioritizes each individual team member, employee safety will become a natural part of your organization.
Start emphasizing employees over profits and good things will happen.