According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, industry employers reported almost three million nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries (2018). Likewise, in Australia, approximately four percent of 13.4 million workers experienced a work-related injury or disease; an estimated 84 percent of these workers continued working their same jobs (2017-2018).
Various industries may have specific safety requirements, but business owners in all sectors should follow general safety rules considering that bodily injuries and illnesses can happen in any and every place of employment.
Accidents happen, but business owners and employees can diminish the likelihood of their occurrence in the workplace by enforcing safety precautions and regulations and keeping work areas clean.
Common Workplace Accidents
The kind of workplace accidents that workers risk having may depend on their work environment. Common accidents include overexertion, falling objects, equipment and machinery issues, slips, and falls.
Overexertion affects nearly every industry. Causes of overexertion include muscle strains, back pains, or other forms of injury that may result from moving or lifting objects. Slips, falls, and trips are common workplace accidents that can also affect employees in several industries. Such accidents can cause pain and injuries bad enough to keep workers at home.
Employees who work with large machinery and equipment could collide with these objects, or injure themselves or slightly ruin pieces of their clothing while operating them. Warehouse workers especially risk being hit and severely injured by heavy objects falling from shelves, cabinets, and other surfaces. Chemicals may not be heavy, but exposure to some of them can cause physical harm to employees.
Fires are workplace accidents that can be fatal. Causes for such occurrences include electrical issues, gas leaks, improper storage of flammable liquids, and more. Another potentially fatal workplace accident that can be likely for construction workers is electrocution. Employees may experience electrocution by coming in contact with live wires.
The Aftermath of Workplace Accidents
An employee’s ability to work after a workplace incident depends on the severity of the harm they experienced. Some work-related illnesses and injuries, for instance, may lead to hospitalizations or a short break from work. Others may require surgery, an extended leave, or physical, occupational, or psychological therapy. In severe cases, employees may be unable to return to work because they can no longer physically perform their duties. When hurt on the job, the injured party should reach out to a personal injury attorney from a reputable law firm who can help them receive the compensation they deserve for physical injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and emotional distress. In addition to work-related accidents and workers’ compensation, personal injury lawyers handle cases regarding medical malpractice, car accidents, and wrongful death.
Keep Safety at the Forefront of the Business
Employees typically receive information regarding safety during onboarding and training, but business owners can post the procedures around the workplace as reminders. Having posters of the safety rules in visible places can encourage employees to follow them and avoid accidents.
Small businesses are public places where many people may visit and interact. In addition to employees, business owners are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of suppliers, customers, and others that step on the business premises. One way to protect your employees, members of the public, and your business itself is to get public liability insurance. This type of insurance covers you and your company if there is property damage or someone sustains injuries caused by negligent business activities on your part.
Public liability insurance covers you, up to any policy limits, for property damage or bodily injury claims against you; it doesn’t include a breach of professional duty. Depending on the liability coverage you get, you could receive cover for legal and defense costs from the ensuing claims. For coverage against claims of professional negligence, you might need professional indemnity.
Business owners who need to learn more about the various business products available from insurance companies and turn to the web should make sure the websites they consult are reputable. A website like iSelect provides users with trustworthy information regarding public liability insurance, general liability insurance, professional indemnity, and more. Business owners who compare public liability insurance with iSelect can get the coverage that best suits their company’s needs.
Prevent Accidents by Keeping Workplaces Clean
In addition to getting insurance and enforcing safety regulations, business owners should make sure they declutter their workplaces and maintain cleanliness. Neat workspaces can diminish the chances of accidents and injuries and encourage productivity.