Health and safety hazards are common in numerous workplaces across the country. Sitting down in a chair and completing tasks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. might seem like a harmless occupation for some people, but that isn’t always the case. In 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 80,000 individuals, who worked in an administrative or private-industry office setting, suffered injuries that may have been preventable business owners and management recognized the risks and made the proper modifications right away.
One of the biggest expenses affecting businesses in New York is workers’ compensation insurance, which covers costs that are associated with accidents that employees suffer while on the job. Thankfully, there are a few helpful tips that can assist business owners with reducing workers comp claims.
Top Tips for New York Business Owners to Reduce Workers Compensation Claims
Stop Trips, Slips, and Falls
Slips, trips and falls are the most common type of office injury. According to The National Safety Council, employees are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from a fall in an office setting than in any other workplace. To prevent these accidents from occurring in the first place, offices must be clutter-free. Convex mirrors places at blind intersections in hallways are helpful along with the integration of skid-resistant carpets and mats in wet areas to reduce falls.
Prevent Ergonomic Injuries
In an office setting, the most prevalent injuries are related to ergonomics. Since office workers tend to sit in a computer chair almost the entire day, they are more prone to straining eye, neck and back muscles. To avoid potential strains, adjustable, ergonomic-friendly equipment is a must. One size does not fit all in office workstations. Items such as document holders and specially-designed computer keyboards help employees manage how they position their heads, hands and wrists as they are working to reduce repetitive trauma to these body areas.
Eliminate Potential Hazards
When supervisors stay aware about working conditions, they increase their ability to eliminate potential workplace hazards. Set up a routine of walk-throughs to find signs of unsafe work conditions and monitor for signs of employee discomfort or injuries. Managers need to communicate with employees about safety procedures and establish employee reporting systems to make the office environment comfortable and safe for workers.
Decrease Risk of Fires
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 12,000 office fires occurred between 2004 to 2008. To prevent fires in an office setting, keep electrical cords in good shape, inspect space heaters regularly, ensure fire sprinklers are never blocked and keep escape exits unlocked during work hours.
Avoid Eye Injuries
Businesses can do a lot to provide optimal vision conditions in work spaces. By making simple modifications, business owners can reduce instances of eye strain, dry or irritated eyes. Optimum conditions for reducing eye injuries include setting lights to reduce glare, positioning monitors correctly, reducing screen glare and increasing font sizes on computer screens so workers need not constantly lean forward.
Claims Still Happen
Although employers take many actions to improve workplace conditions and increase safety for workers, accidents will still happen. When claims occur, make sure to fill out the appropriate accident report and submit to the workers comp insurance carrier. If needed, take photos. Inform the insurance company to investigate if there are questions or concerns about a claim’s legitimacy.
If you need help with your New York workers compensation insurance policy, give us a call. We offer a free policy review for workers comp, general liability and other commercial insurance so you know your options and whether you have the right coverage for your needs.