It’s common for many businesses, especially those in high-risk industries, to develop stringent safety guidelines that they expect their workers to follow. These guidelines are designed to minimize the risk of workplace injury and fatalities. And while safety standards and guidelines are important, it’s properly enforcing them that will make or break a business’s safety outcomes. It should go without saying that preventing injury and death are the two main goals of any safety initiative, but there are other consequences as well. As we discussed in our first Cost of a Lost Work Day blog, some of these indirect costs are associated with a loss in production time.

Think of it like this: If a worker is injured on the job, then they’re not going to be able to show up for work the next day. Even if they do, they’re likely going to be unable to perform their duties at their full potential. This can have a huge impact on any business. In fact, this indirect cost of a workplace accident or injury averages anywhere from four to 10 times the amount of the direct costs a company is likely to be on the hook for. In more dire circumstances, indirect costs can amount to up to 20 times higher. Take slips, trips and fall injuries for example – these are among the leading preventable injuries if the proper safety measures are in place, yet they account for some $70 billion in worker’s compensation costs and lost time on the job each year.

So what can be done to better keep workers safe and prevent workplace injury? It begins and ends with implementing prevention efforts to be more proactive right now to ensure that your business maintains productivity, even after a workplace accident. Here’s a closer look:

Productive and Proactive Prevention

The good news is that the majority of workplace injuries are preventable. In fact, according to a study from California State University at Fullerton, only about 4 percent of all workplace injuries are the result of faulty equipment or other unpredictable issues. And noting this, perhaps the most important thing that any business can do is to ensure that ongoing safety training is held on a consistent basis. Safety should be emphasized and established as a core value during the onboarding process and reinforced beyond that point. This helps employees embrace safety measures, as they know from the beginning that the company emphasizes and prioritizes worker safety. Part of any ongoing safety training should include proper use of PPE and normalizing reporting job site hazards, which can be a simple process through Anvl’s Workflows. 

Pre-Employment Screenings

Safety shouldn’t just start with a worker during orientation – it should start during the hiring process. In high-risk environments, it’s imperative only workers who are physically and mentally able to operate certain equipment are hired to do so. In some cases, proper certification may be necessary. We understand how it can be a challenge to find qualified workers in certain industries, especially fields where there’s a current labor shortage. However, cutting corners and hiring unqualified workers is only likely going to add to a company’s lost productivity woes when workplace injury occurs.

Observe and Improve

Make sure you’re routinely conducting research on the key leading indicators that are relevant to your company so you can adequately assess in what areas you’re struggling and where improvements can be made. Identifying leading indicators allows for risks to be assessed early on, before they become a reality. Part of preventing workplace incidents and a loss in productivity is knowing where the risk is. Collect the data, analyze it and track it to ensure any efforts are paying off over time. 

Adequate Staffing

One of the leading indirect causes of workplace incidents is understaffing, as it can lead to fatigue and work exhaustion from overwhelming a small staff. And, when a worker is mentally and physically fatigued, accidents are more likely to occur. Ensuring there’s adequate staffing on a job isn’t just important to avoiding injury and ensuring productivity, but it also helps workers better understand the role they play as part of an overall team. Cross-training workers can be important for solving any staffing issues, as it allows them to plug in and fill any gaps when there are inefficiencies. 

Safety Management Software

Finally, investing in the right safety software, such as that from Anvl, can go a long way toward identifying hazards before they become a threat. It’s one of the best ways to make any operation more proactive and predictive, resulting in more streamlined productivity among the workforce. Anvl’s solution can assist with real-time data collection to ensure that job sites are managed effectively and safely, as well as help you identify trends and leading indicators to cultivate a safety culture within your business. For more information on the benefits of implementing a robust safety management software solution to help your company reduce workplace accidents and streamline productivity, contact Anvl today.