The four most common workplace injuries among Texas employers in 2013 included strains, sprains, fractures and contusions, according to a recent analysis of Travelers’ 2013 workers compensation claim data. Based on this data, Travelers is offering businesses tips on how to create a safe workplace.
“Although these injuries may not seem severe, they can substantially impact an employee while also impacting a business’s operations, particularly small business owners who have little back-up staffing,” said Stacey Johnson, Field Director, Risk Control, Travelers. “The good news is there are several ways to help avoid injuries in the workplace, including proper onboarding and training for new employees and clearly identifying roles and responsibilities.”
Travelers' workers compensation data revealed that in 2013, strains accounted for 25 percent of worker injuries, while 12 percent were sprains, 11 percent fractures, and 9 percent contusions. Workplace injuries such as these have the potential to leave small businesses open to serious financial exposure if the company does not have workers compensation insurance in place.
Travelers is helping Texas employers identify these risks in advance while creating workplace safety programs that includes six basic steps needed to help avoid the most common on-the-job injuries:
- Trust is a must – Hire the right people for the job. Use interviews to ensure prospects have the right experience and training for the position. Ask the right questions to help determine the prospective employee is someone who can be relied upon.
- Identify roles and responsibilities – Define the roles and responsibilities for each employee, position and job function. If an injury occurs, proper documentation can help to expedite the process of helping the employee recover and return to work.
- Lead by example – Safety practices should be employed at the highest level and supervisors should serve as an example of safe behavior. When supervisors recognize safety issues, they should immediately take steps to address them.
- Encourage employee feedback – Encourage employees at all levels to get involved with safety. They are often aware of the safety problems in the workplace and can offer insight as to how to improve the work environment.
- Understand the tools and the work – To help avoid the most frequent workplace injuries, it is important to properly onboard and orient new employees as well as regularly review workstations, tools, machines and duties of the job to fit the task to the worker. To help safeguard each employee, provide proper personal protective equipment and actively manage its use.
- Recognize and remedy – Recognizing the safety issue, knowing who to contact, documenting the injury, and remedying the safety hazard are all steps that help to maintain a safe workplace. Take advantage of resources such as Travelers.com/riskcontrol for videos and checklists on mitigating risk.