Why Employee Safety is Paramount to Today’s Businesses
There are compelling business reasons for employers to ensure their workers’ safety, and summer poses some additional risks to consider.
Injured Workers Means Lower Productivity
For over 20 years, there has been a labor shortage in the U.S. with industries such as hospitality, transportation, and manufacturing among the most affected. Such industries cannot afford to lose their current workers, as replacing them is nearly impossible. In March 2021, there were about 8.1 million job openings in the U.S., with only half as many workers available to take these jobs.
Just one injured employee is enough to decrease business productivity since the gap left exerts pressure on non-injured workers. To prevent this, there are proactive measures employers can take to help ensure workers remain safe and healthy this summer.
Summer Safety Tips for Employees
Here are some tips to help prevent absenteeism and presenteeism (productivity lost due to inadequate functioning) both in and out of the workplace.
Educate Employees on Heat-Related Illnesses
Every year, many Americans suffer from heatstroke, heat exhaustion, hyperthermia, and other heat-related illness, resulting in severe dehydration and death, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With this in mind, ensure they know the symptoms to watch out for and ways to prevent them.
Offer Salty Snacks
It’s important for workers to be able to counteract heat-related illnesses before they escalate. Typically, increasing your salt intake can help restore the lost electrolytes and protect the body from the harmful effects of dehydration. Salty snacks such as pretzels can help.
Adjust Outdoor Schedules When Possible
If businesses require employees to work outdoors in the afternoon, shifting schedules to hours when it is cooler, such as early morning or evening could help. If employees must work in the afternoon, ensuring they take sufficient breaks, work under shade whenever possible, and drink plenty of water can help.
Set up Hydration Stations
According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), hydration is the most basic way to stay safe in the summer. That said, setting up a water cooler(s) as a central hydration point can go a long way in keeping employees safe.
Train Employees to Summer Safety Outside of Work
Many businesses employ safety protocols and risk management strategies to protect employees while at work. Yet there are other risks, that occur outside of work and more often in the summertime. Employers can remind workers of the most common according to Texas A&M Heath:
- Heat-related illness
- Swimming injuries/drowning
- Bicycling related injuries
- Bug bites
- Grilling injuries
- Poisonous plant rashes
- Foot infections
- Foodborne illnesses
- “Sunburned” eyes / Eye Disease
For more risk management tips and strategies for protecting your business, contact our PMC Risk Management team or Workers’ Compensation experts at 781-449-7744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.