As the leader of your business, you know that there can be many hazards in the workplace. However, if you’re like most small business owners, you’re probably not thinking about the possibility of being affected by a workplace disaster. However, the construction, manufacturing and machinery industries are at a higher risk for workplace disasters – maybe the same industry your business is thriving in today. So the risk for a workplace injury or risk of a violation could be a lot closer than you think.

According to OSHA, there are ten frequent violations that were found and cited in 2014. You can see them outlined here in the graph below.

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All of the above violations can cause a major problem for your business and lead to a workplace disaster – and workplace disasters can be costly. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, an eye injury can cost around $1,463. Fees like these can add up over time for small businesses; and fines for violating safety regulations can be stiff. Here are 6 tips to help you avoid costly workplace disasters.

6 Tips for Bypassing Workplace Safety Disasters

  1. Identify risks – The first step in reducing workplace disasters is to identify the risks that your business may present. Large equipment, conveyer belts and unstable machinery are all things that you as an employer must be aware of.
  1. Educate your employees – Along with those large machines come the employees that must learn to operate them. As such, it is imperative that you train your employees on how to use the equipment properly. Another important education component for you employees are the regulatory standards of your industry. Lack of knowledge of these critical regulations could result in government fines or cause an employee to get hurt.
  1. Create a safety plan & procedures manual – If you don’t have safety plans and procedures in place, you are taking a huge risk. In fact, high-risk workplaces such as the construction, machinery and manufacturing industries should take special care to provide training manuals that address the hazards workers face. When you create a manual you must include the guidelines for keeping your workplace safe, and the steps employees can take, should a workplace disaster occur.
  1. Get an evaluation – If you haven’t already done so, your business should receive an evaluation of the workplace hazards associated with your operations. This evaluation should also include an assessment of the effectiveness of your existing safety controls. An expert safety evaluation is the appropriate measure to take in order to ensure a safe environment for all workers.
  1. Workers’ compensation – One of the most important things for a small business owner to do is secure robust workers’ compensation coverage. If you fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance or fail to meet state regulations you may leave yourself exposed to paying the benefits for a hurt worker out of pocket. This is the type of business nightmare from which companies sometimes never recover.
  1. OSHA compliance – There are a myriad of mandatory OSHA regulations that businesses must adhere to. These regulations affect almost every industry. No matter how big or small your company is, not following safe work practices can result in costly government fines.

Putting a clear plan in place to holistically improve the safety climate of your company will not only help you avoid potential large fines and fees, it is simply the right thing to do to care for the well-being of your team.

This is where the value of partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) comes into play. A PEO can conduct all the proper training for you and your staff, while also evaluating your workplace for safety hazards. The good news for small businesses is that it’s completely affordable. In fact, when you partner with a PEO, this safety component is an added value.

At UniqueHR, we can help you with all your workplace safety needs by providing safety program development, evaluations, inspections and training. Contact us today to get started.

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