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4 proven strategies to reduce injuries and risk on the job

Workplace safety isn't something you just stumble upon - it's cultivated and fostered through a number of different methods.

Looking for a few ways to keep your workers safe during the next project? Here are a few to get you started:

1. Make analytics a priority

The digital era is here and big data can provide numerous insights into best safety practices. It can even pinpoint potential injuries based on past data before they even occur. Environmental, Health and Safety software puts statistical insight in safety managers' hands, and is a wise investment for any industry.

According to the Vermont Department of Labor, every $1 spent on workplace safety yields a direct and indirect return on investment between $3 and $10. Not only is employee safety worth it, but the reason for executive buy-in is there as well.

As your company aggregates digital incident reports, it will better be able to understand what areas of its safety culture needs work. For instance, if an absence of safety gear is leading to more injuries, that demographic may need more training.

2. Move away from repetitive actions
Consistently overexerting due to manual, repetitive actions is a big reason companies pay out for worker's compensation. Identifying where, why and how these injuries are occurring is imperative in reducing overall risk for the company.

According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, overexertion accounted for 24.4 percent of all workplace injury costs last year, totaling $15.08 billion. This is an easy fix - simply rely on machinery more often.

Instead of lifting heavy boxes, utilize pallets and forklifts. Any heavy steel, wood or other construction equipment should also be moved using tools.

Workers should avoid repetitive actions and instead automate the process.Workers should avoid repetitive actions and instead automate the process.

3. Supply the right safety gear
Coming in second on Liberty Mutual's Safety Index is "falls on the same level," which accounted for 16.4 percent of all total workers' compensation paid out last year at $10.17 billion.

This is perhaps where EHS software best comes into action, as following the data can quickly pinpoint where some employees may not be using the required safety equipment. Track where fall incidents are happening regularly and identify whether the proper safety gear, like ladders and scaffolding, are being used. This goes for other jobs requiring safety gear, such as welding and general construction work.

EHS Today reported that it's important to make sure this equipment is regularly maintained and inspected. It does no good to an employee if they bring the equipment, yet fall because of it.

"Fostering a culture of safety is extremely important in preventing injuries."

4. Foster a culture of safety
One of the best ways to ensure everyone is staying safe on the job is simply instilling the idea that safety is more valuable than productivity. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted a survey in which respondents were financial executives at their respective companies. Nearly 43 percent claimed that increased productivity was the top benefit from a culture of safety.

A strong sense of safety comes from the fact that it isn't a bad idea to report an injury. While it may cost the company money in the short term, the long-term benefit is that it will never happen again - because EHS software will be able to predict and help prevent the trend.

The Vermont Department of Labor reported that simply telling new hires from the get-go that safety is important, as well as providing numerous training lessons and opportunities to learn about safe methods of work, is the best way to foster this type of culture.

By incorporating these four strategies, you'll easily be able to begin adding the days, "since last accident," and go to work knowing there won't be another accident waiting.

Which strategies have helped you reduce on the job injury and workers' compensation costs? Share your knowledge by leaving a comment below.

Interested in learning how EHS software can help your organization align its EHS program with industry standards and implement a proactive approach? Get a demo today.

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