As a business owner, there are probably a million things on your mind when you get up in the morning. You might think about company positions that you need to fill, for which you’ll need to do the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring. You may have to approach banks or credit unions for loans, or you might have to meet with investors to try and sell them on your ideas.
Some people don’t want that much responsibility, but others love it. If you started a company yourself, it’s like your baby, and you’d probably do anything you can to make sure that it grows and thrives within your niche.
You should also be fully aware of anything that can harm your business or cause it to fail. Jobsite injuries can certainly do that. In the following article, we’ll talk about workplace injuries and how they can torpedo an up-and-coming company.
How Much of an Issue Are Workplace Injuries?
If you’re asking at this point how widespread the workplace injury phenomenon is, the short answer is that there are some industries where injuries are a lot more likely based on the work’s nature. For instance, if you run an antique store, you probably won’t see as many injuries as if you ran a factory that makes heavy machine parts.
There’s no denying that in some niches, jobsite injuries are a serious and ongoing problem. Look at some Washington Department of Labor and Industries stats. L&I says that in the most recent year for which reports are available, insurance paid out $115,689,721 for back injuries.
Those included burns, surface wounds, open wounds, strains, and so forth. These injuries seem to be little less than epidemics in certain professions and on particular job sites.
What Are Some of the Impacts These Injuries Can Have?
If you run a company where there seems to be an excessive number of individuals hurting themselves every day, it will make it harder to get affordable worker’s comp insurance. The law usually requires businesses to carry a worker’s comp policy for situations like this. It’s that insurance that pays for worker injuries when they occur.
If you keep going to your insurance company with claims every week, they’re not going to want to represent your business anymore. If they’re shelling out more and more money because they perceive that you have unsafe work conditions, they’ll void your policy, and then you’ll have to find another company that’s willing to carry you.
What Else Might Happen?
That’s far from the only potential outcome if you can’t find a way to keep your workers safe. If they keep hurting themselves, your company will get a bad reputation with potential new hires. When openings in your workforce come up, it’s going to be harder to bring in new talent if they’re worried they will end up on a stretcher during their first shift.
It’s also going to be more difficult to get bank or credit union loans. Any bank or credit union will check out your company before they agree to loan you any money, and if they see that you have a poor safety record, they’ll probably refuse to extend you a line of credit.
With new investors, it will be the same. Angel investors, venture capitalist firms, or anyone else you approach won’t like it much if they see that your business seems to have serious safety issues. You’ll struggle to get funding if you have cash flow issues, and you might have to shutter the company because of that.
What Can You Do to Prevent This Issue?
Preventing significant injuries from occurring all the time should not be that challenging, even if you’re running a company that’s inherently more dangerous than the average. You can schedule training seminars with your existing workforce to help them conduct themselves safely while on the job.
When you hire new workers, you should emphasize safety during the onboarding process. You might hire a firm to come in to conduct safety drills and to give talks on how to stay out of danger during the day-to-day routine.
You should have adequate signage up reminding workers about company safety policies. If your workers need to wear safety equipment such as gloves, vests, and helmets, make sure they do so. Implement a zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
If you do all these things, you’ll likely see fewer jobsite injuries, and your business can function and grow.