According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, summer is the worst time for workers compensation insurance claims. Why? A change in weather and staffing is often to blame. Such changes can cause a dangerous decrease in safety education and focus on safe practices.
Yet, there are things your business can do to help reduce the risk of employee illness or injury during this time of year. Follow these steps to help keep employees more secure.
#1: Train Summer Employees on Workplace Safety
The large increase in workers compensation claims during the warmer months is often attributed to the number of teens taking on summer jobs. These inexperienced employees are new to their roles, which increases the chances of an injury while at work. The easiest way to help prevent claims is to simply step up training in the summer to ensure all employees — new and old — have a clear focus on safety. Begin training on the first day a new worker starts. Implement procedures to help them continue to learn throughout their short employment.
#2: Encourage Workers to Choose Appropriate Clothing
Intense temperatures can often be a catalyst for workers compensation insurance claims. Encourage your employees to choose clothing in light colors and to drink plenty of water. This can help them to fend off heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and dehydration. And remind staff to leave the shorts and sandals at home when working in a manufacturing or other dangerous environment. Appropriate safety wear is essential.
#3: Pay Attention to the Weather and Wildlife
It's also important to pay attention to the weather for summer workplace safety. This is especially true if you have employees who work in the field, instead of at a single location. Have plans in place for extreme heat days and seasonal thunderstorms. Train your employees on what to do if they encounter flooding or other hazards. In some areas, it is appropriate to discuss an increase in wildlife sightings, such as snakes or deer.
#4: Schedule Staff Accordingly
It is also important to schedule staff accordingly during the summer months. Many experienced workers are opting for vacations or extended holiday weekends. Always make sure you have enough workers to satisfy your business' need. Failure to do so can lead to accidents related to employees rushing through tasks or overexerting themselves. These are two very common workers compensation insurance claims.
Focus on keeping your employees safe during the summer. These four tasks are just the start. However, they can certainly help reduce workers compensation insurance claims.