Building a Workplace Injury Prevention Program

As an employer, you know that your employees are your organization’s biggest asset. By building a workplace injury prevention program, employers protect their largest asset and optimize it as well. Study after study has shown that implementing a successful workplace injury prevention program often leads to higher productivity, greater work quality, reduced turnover, lower costs, and improved satisfaction ratings from employees. 

These benefits go alongside the more tangible results of a workplace injury prevention program which are improved physical safety and lower costs associated with injuries or accidents. 

What is a Workplace Injury Prevention Program?

According to OSHA a workplace injury prevention program “is a proactive process to help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt. We know these programs can be effective at reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.” 

These kinds of programs create processes for identifying and resolving safety hazards in the workplace. Successful workplace injury prevention programs involve active leadership from management, as well as employee participation. They also have procedures for evaluation and improvement. 

Many programs also include prevention and treatment for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). According to the CDC, “MSDs are injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal disks in which work environments significantly contribute to the condition.” These costly injuries can be found in almost any workplace, from the traditional office to a loading dock. MSDs can be effectively treated with physical therapy and massage techniques, like Functional Massage and BioFunctional Health Solution’s proprietary hands-on mobility health treatment system. Bringing professionals to the office to help address employee injury and pain aids in recovery, prevents injuries from occurring or reoccurring, and reduces the amount of time away from work due to doctor’s visits. 

Parts of a Workplace Injury Prevention Program

Here are the fundamental parts of effective workplace injury prevention as shown by various studies. 

  • Active leadership from management.

Studies specifically found that engagement from management is key to a successful injury prevention program. Programs without active involvement from the managers are less effective. Management support encourages workers to actively be on the lookout for safety hazards and gives them a framework for reporting and solving safety issues. It is unrealistic and unfair to expect employees to lead the charge on workplace injury prevention without adequate support from management.  

  • Increased or continued participation from workers.

This is a key element to an effective worker injury prevention program. Not only are workers on the front lines more likely to identify potential hazards, but increased employee participation supports an organization’s bottom line. When workers see that their input and ideas are valued, and see the management taking action, they tend towards having greater job satisfaction, which results in greater productivity. Improving dialogue between employees and management directly improves rates of injury, overall loyalty, and absenteeism.

  • Identifying and assessing hazards.

With leadership from management and active employee participation, organizations are better able to identify and assess hazards. Having processes in place for how to assess identified hazards makes it easier to prevent hazards from causing any harm. Having standard procedures will make the process of resolving an identified hazard much faster than having employees decide what to do with hazards as they arise. 

  • Preventing and controlling hazards.

Often when starting a workplace injury prevention program organizations will find themselves with a backlog of hazards that need to be addressed. Part of this process includes identifying the biggest hazards that need to be controlled and creating a prioritized list of hazards. Employees need to be clear on the procedures and protocols for identifying and controlling workplace hazards, the specific plans for each backlogged hazard, and how to approach any future hazards.

  • Training for safety.

While training workers is an obvious part of effective workplace injury prevention programs, it’s also key to have management trained as well. It’s essential that management understands how these programs improve safety. Successful workplace injury prevention programs incorporate specific training for employees on how to do their jobs safely. Proper training is the best way to prevent workplace accidents. It’s important to include training for tasks that aren’t performed regularly as well. 

  • Tools for evaluating and improving the workplace injury prevention program. 

A successful workplace injury prevention program includes processes for evaluation, which allows the program to improve continuously over time. Annual evaluations, at minimum, where leaders assess how well the program is achieving its goals are needed. Areas in need of improvement will arise, as will areas of success. Taking worker input about the program will help leaders make appropriate adjustments. It’s also important to celebrate as a team what the workplace injury prevention program has accomplished. 

Safety First with BHS

If you’re ready to create a culture of workplace safety by implementing a workplace injury prevention program, let the experts at BHS guide your way. With plans tailored to your unique business, we can help you reduce injuries and costs while improving employee productivity and morale. Contact us today to get started.