When one of your own employees suffers a workplace musculoskeletal injury on the job, don’t panic, start problem solving. With these steps, it’s possible to shore up workplace safety and create an injury prevention strategy for the future.
Address the Immediate Workplace Injury
First and foremost, follow all necessary post-injury reporting and triage procedures. Once the employee is given medical attention, notify OSHA of the incident immediately to ensure that your company is following regulations to the letter. The next important step is to sit down with the injured employee and create a plan of return that includes the necessary time off and a strategy for getting the employee back to work.
Once these important bases are covered, it’s time to investigate how the injury happened. You can start by bringing in a safety engineer to evaluate the immediate problem and look for any safety gaps you may have missed. Musculoskeletal injury risks are often subtle, and it is important to ensure that nothing has been overlooked.
Another important step in investigating a workplace injury is to audit processes and procedures. Your staff may or may not be following existing safety practices, and current safety training may also be inadequate. It’s especially important to evaluate those safety standards and practices to ensure that they’re actually effective at preventing injury. Should any additional safety concerns be discovered in your initial investigation, don’t wait until an injury has occurred to address them.
Prevent Future Workplace Injuries
Once the source of the problem has been identified, your team can begin to look for a solution. When necessary, using outside engineering expertise to design a comprehensive solution can help your company make the most of its investment. A total workplace safety overhaul may include both operational design improvements and ergonomic equipment.
The next step is to implement safer procedures and create systems of accountability within your company. OSHA suggests developing an Injury Prevention Program and training staff on new processes and responsibilities. The benefits of an Injury Prevention Program are many. With proper implementation, they can improve productivity, measurably decrease injuries, reduces overall costs, and improves employee retention.
Any new safety strategy should also be supported by periodic inspections and total facility evaluations. Change is only lasting when everyone is on board, and regular audits help to maintain consistent compliance. With the proper guidance, education, and equipment, it’s possible for your team to overcome a workplace injury and prevent them from happening again in the future.
We are not experts in this field, merely experts on how motorized equipment can reduce injuries. Contact one of our engineers today for a safety walkthrough of your facility and take the first step toward a safer work environment for your employees.