Today, the employee involved causes approximately 80% of workplace accidents. While this seems to indicate that employees are being careless, there are actually many causes of workplace accidents.
Causes and Preventions of Workplace Accidents
Overconfidence is one definite cause of workplace accidents. Individuals with the outlook that 'it will never happen to them' tend to take unnecessary risks. These risks may seem minuscule, such as not following procedures exactly or using tools improperly; however, they can lead to major injuries.
Messy work areas also lead to increased injuries. Areas not cleaned properly create tripping and slipping hazards, one of the most common workplace injuries. Messy work areas also lower productivity and are overall detrimental to workplace production.
Distracted employees are also more prone to be involved in accidents. Whether the distractions are external, such as co-workers or sirens passing by, or internal, such as worries about family and finances, they take an employee's attention away from their work and the safety of their job. Dealing with this can be very tricky for the employer, as distractions cannot be completely eliminated. However, supervisors need to be on the lookout for distracted employees and work to get the employees to focus on the task at hand.
Ignoring safety procedures or poor safety procedures, also lead to many workplace accidents. A company is responsible to ensure that their safety procedures are always up to code. This entails reviewing them on a regular basis as regulations in the industry change. The company also needs to continually involve their employees in training, reminding them of the safety procedures and the importance of following them.
Poorly trained employees also increase the risk of workplace accidents. New employees, or employees starting a new task, need a thorough explanation of the processes and rules. Assuming an employee will be able to figure something out on his or her own is an unsafe practice. Supervisors and management need to be proactive in making sure employees have all the needed information.
Importance of Minimizing Workplace Accidents
The costs due to workplace accidents are a major item on a company's balance sheet. Costs include paying worker's compensation, as well as hiring and training temporary employees. Indirect costs come about as a result of lower productivity and efficiency when temporary workers step in to fill a role, as they do not have the same knowledge and efficiency levels. Additional indirect costs such as lowered employee satisfaction and consumer reputation also affect the company's bottom line.
Employees working for companies with higher work accident rates often feel undervalued and unappreciated. These feelings do not promote a strong work ethic on the part of the employee. Consumers and customers are often reticent to be involved with companies known for their high number of workplace accidents. They do not want any negative publicity to come their way due to any association with such a company.
Prevention of Workplace Accidents
Strong safety procedures, clear training, and alert supervisors ensuring employees complete their work safely are all essential in the fight to prevent workplace accidents. One way to enforce a company's principle of promoting a safe working environment is by bringing in a motivational speaker. Doing so impresses upon the employees that the company understands the need for safety and are willing to spend some of the company's money to ensure their employees are safe.
Motivational speakers such as Brad Hurtig are able to unite their audience around a concept such as workplace safety. Brad lost both hands in a workplace accident during his sophomore year of high school. Using this experience, how he overcame the resulting challenges, and humor, Brad engages his audiences, creating a buzz around the company about how to maximize employee safety in the future. Contact Brad Hurtig today to schedule him for your next event!