Employers have a moral and legal responsibility to keep their employees safe from harm to the best of their ability. This is especially true for small businesses, which may face considerable difficulty facing lost productivity and higher workers' compensation costs after an on-the-job accident occurs at their workplace.
Unfortunately, many businesses looking to keep spending down may choose to cut corners when it comes to workplace safety. A workers compensation attorney in New York can help injured employees understand their legal rights if they've been injured or a loved one was killed in an on-the-job accident.
A recent Newsday column emphasized the importance of being proactive in the creation of a safe and secure workplace environment. This is especially true among small business owners and employers, who oftentimes have fewer resources than their larger competitors and other counterparts.
Steps to take to prevent workplace injuries
According to Newsday, officials from the U.S. Department of Labor Long Island office speculate that employers pay close to $1 billion per week in direct workers' compensation costs. Other costs include training replacement workers, investigating accidents, implementing corrective measures and facing increased employee call-outs after an accident.
The article speculates that the cost of workers compensation could be crippling to a small business owner who may not be able to afford workers' compensation costs or fines levied upon their business by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Even still, many small businesses may be hesitant to implement policies for fear of their upfront costs.
However, Newsday speculates that many of the most common causes of workplace injuries- such as slip and fall accidents and stairway or ramp accidents - are easily preventable. In order to prevent accidents at small businesses, Newsday recommends employers and small business owners take the following precautions:
- Implement a formal safety policy at the workplace.
- Create an injury and illness prevention program, emphasizing hazard identification and assessment, hazard prevention and control, education and training.
- Train management and employees alike about safe work practices.
- Hire a "point person" to ensure safety policies are communicated and enforced.
- Conduct periodic self-inspections of your store or business with employees.
- Consult with OSHA to find potential hazards at work sites.
- Properly train all employees and emphasize proper apparel and safety gear.
- Communicate with employees to understand job-related hazards that have raised concerns at the workplace.
- Contact insurance companies who sometimes offer training and safety classes to members.
No matter the size of a business, safety needs to come first for employers and employees alike. The key to on-the-job injury prevention ultimately starts with the creation of a safety-minded workplace culture. If you're an injured employee looking for help with a workers' compensation or personal injury claim, don't hesitate to discuss your legal options with an experienced attorney.
If you are disabled in New York, contact the Law Offices of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP today by calling (800) 692-3717.