What are you doing to make your business safe during National Safety Month?
June is National Safety Month. It is being promoted by the National Safety Council and OSHA. National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. Some areas the National Safety Council have found to be places of concern throughout the workforce include: fatigue, workplace violence, driving, slips, trips, and falls; as well as drugs in the workplace, over-exertion, and ergonomics. In honor of national safety month here are some tips to help your business deal with each of these risks.
Fatigue is a very serious problem for many small businesses, especially for businesses that have employees doing physical work. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each day to reach peak performance, but nearly one-third report averaging less than six hours. It is not your place as an employer to monitor the amount of sleep employees get when they are away from work, but it is important to talk about being fresh and alert when on the job. The effects of fatigue are far-reaching and can have an adverse impact in all areas of our lives. It is not too drastic to send an employee home for the day because of fatigue, especially when that employee is putting them self or other employees at risk. In some situations, sending an employee home is just the message a manager needs to send in order to get the entire workforce to take fatigue and workplace safety serious.
Each year more than two million people report being a victim of workplace violence. Most of the violence that occurs in the workplace falls in to one of four categories; criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship. No matter what type of business you own or operate, workplace violence is something you need to prepare for and not tolerate in any way shape or form.
Driving is one risk that will cause your insurance premium to rise as much as any risk your business might face. Businesses that have employees who drive as part of their work tend to have more frequent insurance claims and those claims tend to be more severe in nature. Most of the claims result from some form of distracted driving. Distracted driving is an enormous killer on the roads today and there are three main types of distracted driving; manual, visual, and cognitive distractions.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, Trips, and Falls occur most often in businesses that have a lot of exposure to the open public. Bars and restaurants are a prime example of a business that is exposed to a large amount of slips, trips, and falls. There are several steps you and your business can take to limit the frequency and severity of injuries.
Drugs in the Workplace
According to the Surgeon General, nearly 21 million Americans are living with a substance use disorder. The same study showed that three-quarters of these people are employed and they miss 50% more time than employees without a substance abuse disorder. Construction, entertainment, recreation and food service sectors have twice the national average of drug abuse in the workplace while industries with a higher percentage of women or older adults had a two-thirds lower rate of substance abuse. No matter what industry you operate in or the age of your workforce, your business more than likely will have to deal with drug use in the workplace. Having a plan in place for how you plan to communicate with and support all employees involved in a drug use situation will positively impact your business.