If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably familiar with workers’ compensation. Hopefully, you will not ever have to rely on the coverage. Making smart decisions related to workers’ compensation and workplace safety can help keep your employees safe. Here’s how you can address some workplace health and safety hazards.
Ensuring Workplace Safety for Employees
OSHA offers great resources for small businesses looking to make their workplace as safe as possible. They suggest five steps to take to ensure employee safety.
1. Examine OSHA’s Safety Rules and Regulations
Obviously, the safety rules and regulations on a farm will be different than those of a retail store. Doing some quick research for requirements in your industry can help you know which rules to implement.
2. Assign Responsibilities
Using the OSHA rules to assign responsibilities to your staff helps them become safety partners within your business. By making them just as responsible for on-the-job safety, they become invested in supporting these important protocols.
3. Complete a Workplace Analysis
This is a good idea to do routinely to help find potential workplace safety hazards. Even small things like a loose floor tile or wet surfaces can represent potential accidents.
4. Create Health and Safety Solutions
Once you identify workplace health and safety hazards, create new policies to help eliminate them. Think through who is responsible for fixing loose tiles or how to keep surfaces dry.
5. Evaluate Training Practices
Periodically evaluating employee training helps ensure your staff knows how to avoid common workplace issues. Even small businesses in an office setting can remind their staff about repetitive injuries like carpal tunnel.
Preparing Return-to-Work Programs
Staying accident-free starts with prevention. But, when workplace accidents do happen, you need to be ready. Return-to-work programs help employees get back to work as soon as they are medically able to, which helps reduce workers’ compensation costs and improves productivity.
These plans are meant to provide support when employees need it most. Yours should outline policies that go into place if someone gets hurt. Your plan should start with what to do when some gets hurt. For example, who do you contact first, where are your emergency medical supplies, etc.
In the event someone is hurt, you’ll want to set up a transitional employment plan based on the needs of the specific employee. This allows you to put the person back into work with a modified assignment until they are cleared to be back to normal.
Don’t be fooled into thinking workers’ compensation isn’t necessary for your business. If you have questions about workers’ compensation insurance, reach out to your local Farm Bureau agent to help keep your business covered.