OSHA Safety & Health Management Systems for Small Businesses is free, online, self-instructional, classroom-quality training developed by North Carolina State University and funded by OSHA. This program is designed to assist your business in developing and implementing an effective, in-house, safety and health management system that is:
OSHA has a library of industry-based training resources, developed by trade associations and universities across the US.
Some of the industries include:
SHARP: Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program
Your business can be recognized for its safety program though the OSHA Sharp Program. Click here to find out the benefits of the SHARP Program.
Larger business? Participate in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program involves developing a safety and health management system for your workplace. Click here for OSHA VPP information.
Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive abilities. It is also the study of efficiency in working environments. Both definitions appear when you search for the definition of "ergonomics" online.
This means that both businesses and employees benefit from ergonomic solutions. For employees, work becomes easier with less potential for injury. For businesses, employees become more efficient, which improves the business' bottom line.
Before you begin with solutions - here is some information about the problem:
Workers compensation premiums pay for direct costs; but indirect costs for finding someone else to do the work, paying for the employee's downtoime before workers compensation, etc. are paid by employers. Both costs easily reach $20,000 per injury.
Click here for more information from OR-OSHA's Introduction to Ergonomics in the Workplace. This publication has information showing the impact of injuries on a business' profitability.
Ergonomic tools for jobs involving repetitive motion or sitting all day
Ergonomic Stretch Breaks for Employees from University of Virginia
Computer Workstation Self-Evaluation
Recommendations for Computer Users from Cornell University
Computer User Heaven: 8 Exercises That Spell Relief
Fitting the Task to the Person
Easy Ergonomics for Desktop Computer Users
Ergonomic information and tools to prevent back injuries or to prepare employees for physical exertion
Dynamic exercises - to prepare your body for physical motion
Lifting calculator, pushing & pulling calculator, and checklists
Back Injury Prevention Guide for Health Care
Ergonomic solutions for small businesses
Small business ergonomics: 32 examples, solutions and cost/benefit analyses
Ergonomic solutions for specific industries
Industry-specific ergonomic tools - find your industry here
Best practices in ergonomics for health care and manufacturing
Ergonomic Injury Prevention in Healthcare Service
Laboratory Workstation Evaluation Checklist
Measuring the cost and benefits of ergonomic changes and muscular-skeletal injuries
Safety Pays! Calculator from OSHA analyzing the direct and indirect cost of common workplace injuries
Ergonomics cost/benefits calculator from Washington State
Cost benefit research showing employee efficiency improvements from ergonomic solutions
Workers compensation insurance is required for all state employers. Premiums are based on the job each employee performs and their total wages. Each year you must submit a payroll report to your workers compensation provider to verify the premiums paid.
Ask your workers compensation carrier for a list of the most common claims for your industry and take action to prevent those accidents. For example, slip and fall accidents are the most frequent cause of claims for restaurants and the second highest for retail stores. Employers can reduce claims by requiring employees to wear slip-resistant shoes.
Keep good relations with management and employees. Employees are more likely to file workers compensation claims if they are angry or want to punish management.
The Hartford has highlighted 9 ways to limit workers compensation costs, with action steps for each. These include: