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One large expense that every employer dreads is the commercial insurance bill. No matter what type of workplace it is or how many employees there are, the cost always seems to be higher than what people want or expect. Keeping an insurance rate low is possible, but it requires a genuine safety plan and the commitment to follow it through. There are numerous changes that can be enacted in every workplace that will make it a much safer place. Safety records play a large role in the rates insurance agents and agencies calculate for your business, and it is important to be aware of what accidents have happened in the past and do what is necessary to prevent them from recurring.

Eliminate All Distractions
Electronic devices such as MP3 players and mobile phones are an enormous distraction to the average user. MP3 players are even more concerning because people use earbuds with them that basically block out the individual's ability to hear the sound of things such as a forklift driving through or verbal warnings from other employees. These devices should be left in employee lockers or their vehicles and used only during breaks.

Provide Proper Training
Good training programs should begin the first day of employment. Along with learning about the specific job and becoming familiar with the layout of the workplace, new employees should be taught about safety. Initiate safety training that includes lessons on basic first aid and lifting properly to avoid injury. Job-specific safety advice should also be given. For example, welders should be told not to carry cigarette lighters in their pockets, and employees using vibrating tools or equipment should be required to take 10-minute breaks every hour. Supervisors should understand the risks of each job and train their staff accordingly.

Keep Buildings Clean
Slip and fall accidents are a common cause of workers' compensation claims and lost time from work. Avoid this by keeping all items off the floor and insisting any spill be cleaned immediately. Make certain the air quality is good, as well. This is important in industrial buildings where hazardous materials could be in the air, but office buildings also can have quality issues. Influenza viruses and tuberculosis are easy to spread through an HVAC system, as is mold. Have the air quality and all heating and cooling systems tested at least once a year.

Create Strict Rules
Insist on appropriate footwear and clothing for the environment. Safety gear, such as gloves, safety glasses, and hard hats, should be mandatory and always available for the employees who may need them. Insist that no one be in work-related areas other than employees. Do not allow running in the workplace or any type of fooling around that could result in injury. Implement a no-tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol on the premises and begin random testing of all employees.

Offer Incentive Programs
Divide staff into teams and offer incentives for any team that is able to go a predetermined length of time without an injury. Do the same with a fitness plan or smoking cessation group. Healthier employees are less likely to become injured or ill and miss work.

Be Fire Safe
Have extinguishers and fire alarms where they are accessible at all times. Have an evacuation route mapped out and familiarize people with it during their training. Post diagrams of the route throughout the building. Insist there be no smoking on the site and make certain all chemicals and hazardous materials are properly handled and stored.

Maintain Safety on the Road
Make safety belts a requirement whenever anyone is in a moving vehicle. Take traffic violations such as speeding tickets seriously and make them a potential cause for termination. Never allow anyone to drive a company vehicle unless the person has a clean driving record.  |  Posted on May 03, 2016

Posted 8:57 AM

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