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How to Prevent These Common Workplace Injuries

Even if virtually no physical labor occurs in your workplace besides occasionally lifting a heavy box or rearranging office furniture, having a Workers Compensation Insurance policy is still extremely important. Many of the most common workplace accidents and injuries have nothing to do with the type of strenuous manual labor you probably associate with construction and manufacturing jobs. If you want to reduce your business’s risks of receiving expensive workers comp claims, learn how to prevent these common workplace injuries.

What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?
The riskiest on-the-job injury is “materials handling.” What does that mean? It literally refers to handling materials in the workplace (such as lifting or lowering objects, filling boxes, emptying trash cans, carrying equipment from point A to point B.) While more some industries (restaurants and retail shops) are more hands-on than others (accounting firms and banks), materials handling occurs every day in every industry. An employee can just as easily throw out his back lifting a fresh jug onto the water cooler as he can by stocking store shelves with boxes of goods. Rounding out the list of common on-the-job industries are slips and falls; being hit by or running into an object; incidents involving tools; and “cumulative trauma” resulting from chronic overuse of a body part.
How Can You Foster A Safer Workplace?

You cannot prevent all workplace accidents. You can take steps to lessen the risks of the most common culprits. Here are some easy, inexpensive steps you can take to reduce risks.
Provide safety equipment and encourage employees to use it. Depending on your industry, you may offer safety harnesses, back braces, gloves, protective eyewear, hard hats, etc. Additionally, create “spill clean up” areas where employees can find what they need to quickly clean spills (mops, wipes, “wet floor” signs, etc.)
Use non-slip floor mats. Use mats on all slippery surfaces and on both sides of each door leading in from the outside. (This will keep water from rain and snow from pooling and creating slipping hazards.)
Embrace ergonomics. Supportive desk chairs, ergonomic computer equipment, and adequate lighting will all help alleviate repetitive use injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, proper chair height, ideal spacing between workstation equipment, and using tools that promote good posture while seated at a desk can reduce joint strain and injuries like back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Foster a culture that values safety (and lead by example). Employees rushing to meet deadlines are more likely to cut corners. Make sure your team knows that it is OK to take the time needed to follow safety procedures. Instead of trying to hoist a heavy box alone, employees should find someone to help. Instead of running across the warehouse to complete a task more quickly, employees should walk and watch where they’re going.
Offer Incentives
To show that you value safety, consider offering incentives such as a catered lunch or small cash bonus for achieving X number of days without a workplace accident. Sure, there will be a cost associated with the reward. However, that cost will be a small fraction of the cost of just one worker’s comp claim.
Heeding the aforementioned tips can significantly reduce workplace risks. Nothing will eliminate risks, though, and that’s why you need great insurance. We’ll set you up with a comprehensive policy; call us at Metro Boston Insurance Agency, 617.884.5480.
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