In most successful companies, two concepts are at the forefront of effective business strategies: employee well-being and the bottom-line. With those things in mind, injuries in the workplace pose a major threat to a business’s productivity and success. How exactly are businesses affected by workplace injuries, and how can we prevent them from happening in the first place?
Companies Pay Billions for Workplace Injuries
An accident in the workplace is certainly inconvenient for both the employee and employer, but it might surprise you to hear how costly these incidents truly are.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, non-fatal workplace injuries cost employers approximately $62 billion in 2013. This statistic encompasses injuries that causes employees to miss six or more days of work, and current data seems to indicate that this trend has persisted through 2017. To put this number in perspective, the annual cost to American businesses due to workplace injuries is greater than the GDP of 91 countries.
And those are just the direct costs for an employer, only including medical bills, productivity loss, and employee pay. There are many indirect costs associated with an injury that are not as easily measured, including disruptions in quality or processes and damages to employee satisfaction.
All in all, this amounts to a lot of wasted time, money, and resources that could possibly have been prevented with more effective safety measures.
Top Non-Fatal Workplace Injuries
According to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, common causes of injuries in the workplace range from roadway and vehicle accidents to falling objects. However, the top 3 most common causes of workplace injuries account for nearly half of all injuries that occur.
We found some surprising statistics about falls in the workplace:
There are two types of falls: falls from the same level and falls to a lower level.
Slips, trips, and falls cause approximately 20% of all job-related injuries.
Injuries from tripping or falling account for between 12% and 15% off all Workers’ Compensation expenses.
1 in 6 of all worktime lost results from slips, trips, and falls.
Over 60% of elevated falls are from a height of less than 10 feet, such as from stairs or ramps.
These accidents cost employers an estimated $38,000 per incident.
Overexertion Involving an Outside Source
Injuries resulting from either a single episode or repetitive exertions involving outside sources accounts for nearly 25% of all injuries in the workplace. Most commonly, they result from an object being lifted, pushed, pulled, or carried.
While certain occupations such as freight, stock, and laborers are more commonly injured through over exertion, other industries are significantly affected as well. This includes but is not limited to the food and beverage, medical, aerospace, storage, and automotive industries.
Minimizing the Costliest Workplace Accidents
While these injuries occur almost every day, there are many ways to minimize their frequency.
Train employees to practice safe lifting methods.
- Reduce the weight of loads as much as possible before handling them manually
- Always lift with your legs, not with your back
- Push instead of pull when possible
- Focus on good body mechanics, and avoid awkward positions
Provide your operation with the safety-promoting equipment to minimize or even eliminate the root causes of these accidents.
One of the single best ways to avoid injury is by eliminating the need for your employees to lift materials altogether.
We design VRCs, sometimes referred to as freight or material lifts, built to move material safely from one level to another. They are far safer than traditional methods of moving material such as forklifts and manual labor. Furthermore, not only does owning a VRC reduce the risk of overexertion from an outside source, but it can also reduce the risk of falling from employees carrying materials up and down stairs or ramps.
Just one incident of an employee falling and injuring themselves costs an average of $38,000. By investing in a VRC and preventing just one of these incidents from happening, your product has effectively paid for itself.