Studies show that for every major workplace injury or fatality, there are nearly 10 minor injuries – and more than 30 accidents that lead to property damage.
Capturing data even on minor incidents that may seem trivial in isolation can be critical in informing efforts to prevent much greater dangers in the future. A big part of that effort involves ensuring businesses maintain a complete set of data.
Managers at all levels should focus on solid and thorough documentation. Here is where management’s main effort should be concentrated:
Don’t ignore minor incidents. Document all of them. Even if you have avoided injuries and severe property damage so far, keeping careful records may provide critical risk management insights – and enable managers to take action to prevent accidents before they occur.
Identify patterns. Do minor incidents seem to happen in the same area? Involve the same or similar machinery? Are they in the same department or under the same manager? Careful record-keeping is a valuable tool for identifying patterns.
Discourage presenteeism. Workers who come to work sick may be taking medications that increase the risk of incidents. Workers are not robots: Sick or distracted workers may make serious or deadly mistakes. To prevent this, have a sustainable sick day policy and encourage workers to take time off when needed – especially in dangerous occupations.
Encourage reporting. Studies have shown that the vast majority of minor incidents are not properly reported or recorded.
One study found that 85% of workers told researchers they had experienced work-related symptoms, 50% had experienced persistent work-related medical symptoms and 30% reported they had lost time from an incident or from a repetitive motion injury – yet only 5% of workers told researchers they had formally reported any of these incidents.
When asked why they didn’t report safety incidents, workers cited a number of reasons:
- Fear of reprisal
- Poor management response to prior reports
- Fear of losing their job or being transferred to a less desirable position
- Belief that pain or another medical symptom was a normal consequence of work activity or ageing.
Maintain OSHA-required injury logs. By federal law, most employers must maintain the following safety documents:
- OSHA Form 300 – Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
- OSHA Form 300A – Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
- OSHA Form 301 – Injury and Illness Incident Report
Employers with 10 or fewer employees at all times during the preceding calendar year are exempt from the federal requirement, though many states may impose more stringent requirements.
Record near misses. Often, near misses – in which property damage, injury or fatality were narrowly avoided – can provide data that’s just as valuable as for incidents resulting in actual damages or injuries. This information can prove vital to informing prevention efforts.
Perhaps most importantly, carefully documenting all safety incidents and near misses, however minor, may help establish a culture of safety throughout the organization.
BGES Group, located in Larchmont, N.Y. are New York Construction Insurance Specialists that represent 50+ companies and all the BEST general & umbrella liability programs! We offer every coverage you need including property, builders risk, inland marine, general liability, umbrella liability, auto, bid & performance bonds, workers’ compensation, N.Y.S. disability and group health. We are extremely responsive, responsible, trustworthy, fast, minimize your insurance headaches, we don’t charge ridiculous policy or service fees and when you call, text or email, whatever time of day, even weekends, we are ARE THERE to help YOU!
BGES Group are Workers’ Compensation Insurance Specialists for Tri-State Business Owners: Unhappy with your rates, company, being cancelled, losses causing difficulty getting coverage, in the middle of an audit dispute, payrolls misclassified, whatever your issue, we can help! We have special programs for: Auto Service, Contractors (especially New York), Limousine Services, Logistic Companies, Manufacturers, Recyclers, Truckers, we can help ANY tri-state business owner. We are considered “Preferred Agents” for this one program that if we can get you in, their pricing is excellent, offers long-term coverage stability and can cover multi-state operations. Program takes the hassle out of doing annual audits too.
Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538
© – Copyright – 2023 – BGES Group