Friday, December 6, 2013

Workplace Safety 101: How To Create a Safe Working Environment

Safety should be a top priority for all retail stores and businesses. While the rate of work-related injuries in retail is low compared to industrial businesses, it's still something that needs to be addressed.  Allowing your employees to work around common hazards and dangers creates an entirely new set of problems for your business. In this post, we're going to reveal the true costs of work-related accidents, along with some safety tips for retail businesses.

Direct vs Indirect Costs of Work-Related Injuries

When a worker is injured on the job, the company must pay for both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include 'obvious' things like medical bills, lost wages, and broken equipment. These costs alone can place a heavy financial burden on a company, especially new companies trying to lay the foundation for their success; however, it's the indirect costs which really hurt a company's wallet. Here's a short list of some of the most common indirect costs of work-related injuries:
  • Lower productivity
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Resources spent hiring and training new employees
  • Reduced employee morale
  • Purchase new safety equipment
  • Lawsuits
  • OSHA fines and sanctions

Common Types of Work-Related Injuries

As you can see, work-related injuries negatively affect businesses in several different ways. Educating yourself on some of the most common types of work-related injuries, however, will help you prevent them. The single most common injury in the workplace is a same-level fall. This occurs when an employee falls (whether they slip or simply lose balance) on the same level. In the retail industry, same-level falls are a real concern that businesses should be aware of.

Another all-too-common type of work-related injury is overexertion. Just as the name suggests, this occurs when an employee pushes themselves beyond their physical limit. Pulled and/or strained muscles fall under the category of overexertion.

Tips For Creating a Safe Working Environment

  • Create a safety bulletin board with key information about potential workplace hazards.
  • Train your employees on the proper way to lift boxes and use equipment.
  • Lay out non-slip rugs in areas where slip-and-fall accidents are common.
  • Perform routine safety audits to identify new workplace hazards.
  • Listen to your employees to see what safety issues concern them.

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