Managing Safety and Health Exposures: Ergonomic Action

No business expense has outpaced annual inflation like the cost of healthcare. That’s why it’s important to manage the safety and health of your employees.

Direct costs of employee injury are easy to identify.

They include:

• Medical – cost of treating the employee’s injury

• Indemnity – payment for lost wages and resulting disability

More challenging is determining uninsured indirect costs, including:

• Administrative expenses for claim reporting and interviewing

• Injury case management

• Loss of productivity from injured employees

• Productivity loss from less-qualified replacements

• Regulatory citations and actions

• Potential damage to the company’s reputation

• Per-loss and aggregate deductibles

• Recruiting and training costs

• Increased insurance premiums

Uninsured indirect costs can be at least twice the injury’s direct expenses. You can control and manage the insurance risks associated with employee safety and health by implementing this safety tips:

Ergonomic Action

• Develop and implement a proactive ergonomics program that includes employee awareness and communication, effective workstation design principals and employee training. Elements should include:

– An employee symptom-reporting system

– An ergonomic task force

– A charter statement that specifies goals, resources and management support

– Task force responsibility for research and solution development

• Use available design improvements such as:

– Maintaining dies and tooling to ensure that molded products do not require subsequent trimming

– Pneumatic lift tables

– Suspended in-line tooling

– Sit or stand stools

• Provide anti-vibration gloves and vibration suppressing coating or wraps for employees exposed to vibration

• Install an effective, shock-absorbent forklift seating system

• Maintain floor surfaces to reduce jarring

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