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Tool Box Talk - Winter 2023

5 Ways to Help Protect Employees from Injuries on the Job

 

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and potential for new hiring or return of furloughed employees, it is critical employers have robust ongoing safety training programs and practices in place. Here are five areas to focus on to help prevent workplace injuries.

 

1.      Safety starts before an employee’s first day on the job. Having a formal hiring process and clear job descriptions can help attract qualified job candidates who are likely to fit well into your organization’s safety culture. Job descriptions should convey your organization’s expectations around adherence to safety practices, so potential employees understand the importance of safety, starting with their first interactions with the company.

 

2.      A job safety analysis, or JSA, is a process that breaks down each step in a job, describes the hazards associated with each step and defines the safe work method that minimizes or eliminates each hazard. When you conduct a JSA, it can help your company understand the hazards of a particular job so you can define the procedures to address the exposure.

 

3.      Provide skills-based safety training, rather than awareness based only, so employees develop a firsthand understanding of proper safety protocols. This can be more effective than, for example, simply watching a video or online tutorial.

 

4.      Once hired, safety training can begin on day one before an employee starts executing the tasks of their new role. Even experienced employees can be at a higher risk of an injury when switching roles or duties of employment.  Whether they are new to the role, new to the department or recently returning to work in a transitional duty role after an injury, onboarding and training is essential. Regular safety training can help to ensure that employees understand and adhere to safety expectations and procedures.

 

5.      Learning from past accidents can help prevent similar ones in the future. An accident analysis program can help identify the root causes of an accident. These insights can then help companies to develop corrective actions to reduce the likelihood of similar accidents and injuries.

 

Employees are still at risk of injuries at work after their first year on the job. Sprains and strains top the list for longer-tenured workers. Implementing illness prevention programs and general safety training can help reduce workplace injuries

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