Every year, more than 4.1 million American workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness. These incidents hurt not only the employees involved, but their employers as well. In 2013, employers lost nearly $62 billion as a result of workplace accidents that caused employees to miss six or more days. These sobering statistics highlight the necessity of developing an accident prevention program for your construction site. Read more
This past week has been cold (and we mean really cold). Still, we saw some contractors out and about last week; clearing snow, and working on other projects (like the beginnings of a kitchen remodel) that New York contractors have come to expect from November until April. While jobs may be slow during our offseason, they still carry the same amount of risk and danger (perhaps more) that we deal with during the warmer months. This past year alone there were an estimated 12 fatal injuries a day, which is why we at Contractors Insurance are making it our New Years resolution to make your workplace as safe as possible. We know we don’t have the power to prevent all workplace injuries, but with some basic information you might be able to create safeguards against the most common causes of injury. Listed below is our road-map to workplace injury prevention in 2015.
Workplace Injury Prevention Road-map
To better understand how to avoid injuries, we think it best to start by defining which injuries are most prevalent in the workplace and then break them down for our workplace injury prevention road-map. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 causes of onsite injuries.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
It’s winter time which means the likelihood of you being involved in a motor vehicle accident is much higher than when the roads are warm and clear. Whether you are a snow removal contractor or a commercial truck driver be sure to educate yourself and your employees on safe driving techniques and provide proper training for those employees. Doing both will lessen the chance of a potential accident.
Musculoskeletal injuries are typically caused by overexertion (like heavy lifting) and fatigue. You can improve workplace injury prevention by teaching employees proper lifting techniques and by keeping them well rested and physically fit.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries typically take a while to set in but they are extremely common. They’re also protected under your workers compensation policy. To avoid higher premiums encourage your employees to take breaks and reduce frequency of an activity if they begin to notice unusual amounts of pain.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips and falls are fairly common on contractor work sites (and are even more so during the winter). By using proper signage to warn of dangerous conditions and maintaining a clean work site you will soon be prepared for workplace injury prevention.
No matter how serious you are about workplace injury prevention, accidents still may happen. When they do, you will want to make sure you have both general liability insurance and workers compensation to ward off any potential disasters. If you have any further questions please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-649-9094. Stay safe!
Anyone doing construction work is subject to some pretty brutal weather conditions all year round. Understandably so, at the peak of a summer’s heat wave, the last thing you may be interested in adding to your attire is a bulky hard hat before stepping into your construction zone. But on a very basic level, helmets and hard hats are crucial to the well-being of everyone on a contractor’s payroll.
While there are no specifications by job title as to who should and should not be wearing a protective helmet within a work area, the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines provide examples of roles in which hard hat wear is beneficial. These include, “carpenters, electricians, lineman, mechanics and repairers, plumbers and pip fitters, assemblers, packers, wrappers, sawyers, welders, laborers, freight handlers, timber cutting and logging, stock handlers, and warehouse laborers.
The textbook language involved in understanding the safety issues of helmets and hard hats safety is fairly overwhelming, but when you take a look at what’s recommended for the Service Life of this equipment, it becomes much clearer how the cons of wearing a big, bulky helmet are overshadowed by the pros:
Beyond the obvious benefits of wearing a helmet, such as having things dropped on your head, being hit from the side, or coming into contact with electrical shocks, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an element that your helmet is defending you from that you may not have even considered, and the damage it causes is easy to see; your once shiny, new helmet will become weathered and appear chalky after its surface has been deteriorated by repeated use in direct sunlight. If the sun can do that to your helmet, imagine the alternative of what it could do to your head! The OSHA suggests immediately replacing your helmet once the damage caused by UV radiation causes its shell to start flaking away. A helmet is a cheap alternative to dealing with the degradation of your head!
If looking too much like the rest of the pack is one of your causes for concern, the OSHA has already addressed some of the issues you may have. It is fully acceptable to paint or adhere stickers to the outside of your helmet if you feel the need to personalize it a bit. In addition, hard hats marked with the “reverse donning arrow” icon are approved to be worn backwards, if that’s more your style.
While there’s no questioning that wearing a hard hat while at work makes the job much sweatier, the risk of going without one could easily result in injuries that would pull you out of work altogether, and nobody wants that. Protecting your head is protecting your ability to work and to provide for yourself and your family, so strap on your helmet and get out there!