Workers’ compensation insurance serves as a buffer, covering accidental or careless harm to an employee’s health, barring substance abuse or deliberate intent. Despite the best safety protocols, accidents can occur, leading to injuries, lost productivity, and financial implications.
In 2019, the National Safety Council estimated that preventable workplace injuries had a staggering $171 billion economic impact. This figure includes productivity and wage losses, administrative expenses, medical expenses, and uninsured employer costs.
As a business owner, you must familiarize yourself with the most common workers comp injuries and how to avoid them. This info will not only safeguard your employees but also protect your organization from excessive financial burdens.
Common Workers Comp Injuries: Statistical Overview
To tackle workplace injuries effectively, it’s essential to grasp their prevalence. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), about 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in 2019, equating to about 2.8 cases for every 100 full-time workers.
Understanding these statistics can help employers and safety professionals devise effective prevention strategies.
Top 5 Common Workers Comp Injuries
Strains occur when a tendon or muscle is torn or stretched. Repetitive tasks, awkward postures, and heavy lifting are common causes. Implementing ergonomic workstations, promoting correct lifting techniques, and encouraging regular breaks can help prevent these injuries.
Contusions, or bruises, typically occur after a body bump or fall. While most are not severe, significant pain, swelling, or quick bruising may indicate a serious issue. Employers should ensure their workspaces are free from obstacles that could lead to falls or bumps.
Lacerations or cuts can result from using inappropriate or poorly maintained tools. Good housekeeping, proper lighting, and regular maintenance and inspection of tools can help reduce the risk of lacerations.
Like strains, sprains happen when a ligament is torn or stretched. Again, repetitive tasks, heavy lifting, and awkward postures are the main culprits. Employers can prevent these injuries by providing ergonomic equipment and promoting safe working practices.
Puncture wounds can occur when working with sharp tools or objects. Regular safety training, proper tool handling, and providing personal protective equipment can significantly reduce the risk of puncture injuries.
Strategies to Minimize Workers’ Compensation Claims
While knowing the common injuries is essential, understanding and implementing strategies to prevent them is equally vital. Here are some measures that employers can take:
Utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Implement Job Rotation
Providing PPE and rotating workers frequently can significantly reduce the risk of injury, especially for those working in hazardous areas.
Establish Safety Buffers and Eliminate Hazards
Creating a buffer between workers and hazards or eliminating the hazards altogether can greatly enhance workplace safety.
Conduct Regular Training and Establish Safety Committees
Regular training sessions can help employees understand and avoid potential workplace hazards. Additionally, forming safety committees comprising employees, employers, and safety specialists can help identify and address risks proactively.
Hire Safety Professionals
Occupational safety professionals, such as ergonomists and hygienists, can help implement strategies to combat existing and emerging threats, thereby preventing accidents.
Winding It Up
While workers comp insurance for your business can alleviate the financial burden of workplace injuries, prevention is undoubtedly the best strategy.
Understanding the most common injuries and implementing safety measures can significantly reduce the risk of accidents, creating a safer and more productive workplace environment for all.