As a manager or owner, one of your most important workplace safety moments is just after accidents at the workplace. If you take the time to investigate what happened, a series of details may spring to mind that will help you avoid the next accident. These 10 questions can help you find those details:
1. Who do you have working for you?
Have you taken the time to examine their qualifications and history before you hire them? Poorly qualified applicants will carry problems to you as employees. Their lack of knowledge, skill and attitude may contribute to accidents at the workplace and to poor workmanship.
2. Do you have the right tools for the job?
Just getting by with the wrong tool can injure employees, break tools and ruin products. Planning your work creates solutions in advance.
3. Are your employees appropriately trained for the job at hand?
A small change, new materials, or even a new environment can contribute to an accident at the workplace. Take a moment to talk to your employees about what’s different.
4. Are others creating the problem?
Were there vendors or subcontractors working in the area that contributed to the problem? Were both companies trying to do work in the same place at the same time? A few extra moments of planning will make the work go more smoothly.
5. Is there a risk that could be moved to someone else?
Sometimes it’s best to let someone else handle a problem. Could a vendor or subcontractor who is a specialist handle the problem and eliminate the chance of hurting an employee or ruining the product?
6. Do your supervisors enforce the rules, watch for safety hazards and think about what could happen?
Supervisors are your “marching army” for solving problems before they become expensive.
7. Do you (management) enforce rules, watch for safety hazards and think about what could happen?
Employees are watching you since you sent the pace. If you are lax, they will be lax. If you advocate safety, chances are they will too.
8. Do you provide return-to-work duties for injured employees?
Putting an employee back to light duty work is the fastest and cheapest way to heal an injured employee. Quick healing means a cheaper workers compensation claim.
9. Is there subrogation?
Did someone else cause your workplace accident? Knowing the details can help your insurance company move some of the accident cost to their insurance company.
10. Do you need a drug abuse policy in your company?
If you are having accidents at the workplace caused by employees under the influence, you need to install and enforce a drug-free program. Program costs are usually offset by a marked improvement in productivity and morale.
When your company has a workplace accident, take a few extra minutes to investigate the accident. Ask yourself these 10 questions. The answers may help you avoid another accident, gain productivity and spend less person time chasing claim details.