With tight deadlines and a fast-paced work environment, employers may find it hard to enforce safety guidelines here in South Carolina. This can mean an increase in worker injuries, higher workers’ compensation costs, higher medical expenses and a decrease in productivity. If employers show little concern about worker safety, employee morale can decline and the company can become less desirable in the eyes of new job seekers.
Even everyday actions can open up workers to a variety of safety hazards, so employers, site managers and safety coaches should be wondering how to improve their work environment. This is where the following five tips can come in handy. The first step is for those in leadership positions to champion a safety-minded culture. Once this is clear, they should distribute anonymous surveys to their employees to determine what they know of corporate safety policies, what they think is expected of them and what their idea is of their own responsibilities.
The next step is to get employees to speak up about hazards and unsafe procedures that they regularly encounter. A pre-shift huddle will provide an informal, non-punitive forum for this. One-on-one discussions are also recommended, as some can feel uncomfortable speaking in large groups. Once employees see that their point of view is being respected, they will respond more readily to ongoing safety training.
In the event of a worker injury, the victim can exercise the right to compensation and file for workers’ comp benefits, provided that the employer carries workers’ comp insurance. Filing for these will waive the right to sue the employer, but in most cases, the benefits can reasonably cover all medical expenses and lost wages. Hiring an attorney may benefit claimants, as a lawyer may be able to conduct an investigation, negotiate with insurers and file appeals.