In 2015-2016, nearly 700,000 workers suffered an injury whilst on the job, which contributed to 30.4 million lost working days and cost the economy about £14.1 billion, according to the HSE.
Because your organisation is required to have employers’ liability cover, you already have cover to help pay compensation if your employees suffer a work-related injury or illness. However, there are a number of hidden costs that are not covered by insurance, such as lost production, recruitment and training expenses, and any necessary overtime pay.
To help rein in any hidden costs, consider adopting the following strategies:
1. Conduct routine risk assessments. One should be conducted for each piece of machinery and required task.
2. Provide your employees with regular training. Employees should receive annual health and safety training as well as training specific to their job requirements.
3. Manage your organisation’s occupational health programme(s). Keep track of your employees’ well-being to help identify current work processes that could be causing physical strain—allowing you to correct the processes before injuries occur.
4. Provide adequate and well-maintained personal protective equipment (PPE). Based upon the results of your risk assessment, provide your employees with enough PPE to safely do their jobs. This equipment should be inspected at least annually to ensure its effectiveness.
5. Develop a thorough claims investigation process. To ensure that you understand what happened and how to prevent it from happening again, interview everyone involved and take photographs.
6. Keep thorough documentation. Keep detailed notes to help shape future risk prevention strategies.
You can lower costs even more by relying on return-to-work materials that help staff get back to work quickly following an injury.