Every employer’s worst nightmare is seeing one of their employees seriously injured on the job. When an employee suffers a severe workplace injury, the consequences can be long-lasting for both the employee and the employer. While some injuries may be minor, many result in severe disability, leaving the employee unable to return to work for a prolonged period, or in the worst-case scenario, permanently. Disabling workplace injuries can be costly for businesses and devastating for employees. In this post, we will cover the top five causes of the most disabling workplace injuries and how employers can mitigate the risk of these injuries occurring.
One of the most common causes of workplace injuries is overexertion. This occurs when employees engage in excessive physical effort, leading to muscular strains, sprains, and tears. Overexertion injuries frequently occur when employees lift heavy objects or perform repetitive tasks, such as bending, twisting, or reaching, for prolonged periods. To reduce the risk of overexertion injuries, employers should provide employees with the proper training on lifting techniques and implement ergonomic practices that reduce the need to lift heavy objects.
Falls and Trips:
Falls and trips are another leading cause of workplace injuries. They can occur anywhere on the job site, from slick floors to uneven surfaces, to cluttered work areas. While some falls are minor, they can also result in severe injuries such as broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. To mitigate the risk of falls and trips, employers should ensure walkways are free from clutter and employ non-slip surfaces where necessary. Additionally, employers should invest in safety equipment, such as guardrails and harnesses, when working at height.
Motor Vehicle Accidents:
With so many employees driving to and from work or driving as part of their work responsibilities, it’s no surprise that vehicle accidents are a significant cause of workplace injuries. Employers can mitigate the risk of motor vehicle accidents by providing employees with the appropriate training on safe driving practices, enforcing distracted driving policies, and ensuring all vehicles are regularly maintained.
Repetitive Motion Injuries:
Repetitive motion injuries are another common cause of disabling workplace injuries. They occur when employees perform the same motion repeatedly, resulting in damage to the muscles, tendons, and nerves. These injuries can be mitigated by redesigning the workspace, providing ergonomic equipment, and ensuring employees take regular breaks to stretch and rest.
Unfortunately, workplace violence is becoming increasingly common. This can include physical assault, emotional abuse, or harassment. These kinds of incidents can result in serious injuries, both physical and emotional. To mitigate the risk of workplace violence, employers should implement policies and procedures for dealing with these types of incidents, provide training on recognizing signs of potential violence, and take all reports of harassment seriously.
But, you can protect yourself and your business even further by utilizing the right types of insurance to help mitigate risk.
First of all, no matter how stringent the safety protocols and standards in your workplace is, accidents can still happen. And when they do happen, the financial implications can be devastating for both the employee and the employer. According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of a disabling workplace injury in the United States is more than $100,000 in direct and indirect costs. This is why it is crucial for businesses to have insurance to mitigate the risk associated with disabling workplace injuries. Let’s take a look at different insurance policies to consider…
Disability insurance is a type of insurance that pays eligible employees a portion of their income when they are unable to work due to an injury or illness. It covers both short-term and long-term disabilities, affording workers peace of mind knowing they can still generate income, and help companies avoid losses associated with the absence of a key employee. It also helps reduce the stress and anxiety employees might experience during their recovery period and contributes to enhancing the overall morale of the organization.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance:
Workers’ compensation insurance is a mandatory insurance coverage designed to provide compensation to employees who are injured or disabled during the course of their work. It provides medical expenses, income replacement, and other benefits and helps companies avoid lawsuits as employees receive benefits regardless of who was at fault. It’s important to note that not all injuries in the workplace cause a disability; this insurance helps cover both deviations.
General Liability Insurance:
General liability insurance protects businesses from costly third-party liability lawsuits. When an employee is injured in the workplace, they may also file a lawsuit against their employer, and this is where general liability insurance comes in handy. Any legal fees, settlements, or judgments against your business that results from the employee’s injury are covered by this type of insurance.
Business Overhead Expense Insurance:
Aside from compensating the disabled employee, businesses are also faced with non-operational expenses such as rent, utilities, and vendor payments as well as employee salaries. But, if the owner or key wage-earning employee becomes disabled or injured and unable to work, this is when Business Overhead Expense Insurance comes in. This coverage helps cover these overheads and allows business owners to keep their doors open while their key earners recover from their injury or illness.
Disabling workplace injuries can be a nightmare for both employees and employers. The emotional toll, coupled with the financial hit, can feel insurmountable. This is why all business owners should be aware of the different types of insurance policies that can help mitigate the risk of these kinds of incidents. Disability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, general liability insurance, and business overhead expense insurance are all great policies to have in place. When you’re proactive in these situations, a quick and streamlined response with the right insurance coverage lessens the risk of any unnecessary negative outcomes. A BWO Representative can create an impactful plan to your business coverage to help eliminate your personal and business risk. Reach out to BWO Insurance to get started.