Even though there are fewer injuries that had taken place at work that are being reported in recent years, workplace accidents are still quite common. In fact, the National Safety Council warns us that every 7 seconds, a workplace injury occurs somewhere. If you happen to be a business owner, it’s imperative that you protect your employees from work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities to keep the statistics low and your employees safe.
Although every employer likes to imagine their workplace as safe, there is always potential for accidents. These accidents can carry long term repercussions for your business. Whether your workplace is an office, warehouse, or an outdoor site, maintaining high safety standards is paramount. Here’s how workplace accidents could affect your business.
When employees get injured in your workplace, you may have a workers’ compensation claim on your hands which may keep you occupied and distracted from your business. Without your full concentration, your business may take a downturn. When a worker is injured, the position they hold becomes vacant. Their work won’t get done until other employees assume their responsibilities.
This increased workload will negatively impact your employee’s focus on their own responsibilities. If the injured employee is out for a considerable time, you’ll be forced to hire new personnel. The time it takes to recruit, train, and bring up to speed the new workers can also lower your business’ productivity. If the injured employee was highly experienced, bright, and productive, it could be difficult to replace them.
Low Employee Morale.
Your workplace environment can also be affected regardless of the type of injury that has occurred to one of your staff members. If fatal, the accident or injury can tremendously dampen the atmosphere of your business place. It drags down everyone’s morale, which may, in turn, affect production. Even after you take care of the injured worker, the aftermath of the accident may still linger at the worksite.
Most employees will naturally get very concerned with their own safety, while others may even decide to quit. These concerns will cause the workers to lose focus on their tasks and keep them from giving the best. In such a scenario, create a support system to help your employees get through it.
There are laws in place to ensure employees are working in a safe environment. If these safety laws are neglected, you may find yourself in legal trouble. The effects can be disastrous, especially if you haven’t taken any worker’s compensation insurance plan. You’ll be forced to foot all the costs of the injured employee and pay for all other legal expenses.
If you don’t have measures in place to protect your workers, you also run the risk of being investigated by the Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA). This is a government body tasked with protecting the health and safety of workers in the workplace. If they determine you haven’t taken enough precautions, you may be penalized and subjected to increased scrutiny in the future.
The Financial Dimension.
When workers are hurt in your business place, you’ll soon be dealing with lawsuits, settlements, and ongoing payments to victims. This can hurt your business’ finances significantly. Apart from this, your worker’s compensation insurance costs may shoot. Past claims may be used to determine your future insurance premium.
To minimize the cost of your premium after an injury occurs, create a program where employees who are injured can come back to work as soon as they are medically able. They can work fewer hours and perform lighter tasks. Apart from cutting costs, it helps the employee to recover mentally and maintain their financial independence.
An accident in your workplace can have wide-reaching effects for you, your business, and your workers. It can affect your productivity, drain you financially, and damage your reputation. To prevent this, develop a comprehensive injury and illness prevention program.