Posted on May 19, 2014
The State of West Virginia more than doubled the number of on the job accidental fatalities between 2010 and 2011. Of 95 workers killed, 29 of them were coal miners from the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in 2010. While some accidents just cannot be prevented, Virginia business owners can limit injuries by taking steps to educate employees and managers about workplace safety. Companies that implement active injury prevention programs can help to curb injuries and workers compensation insurance claims. By reducing claims, businesses ultimately save money on their workers comp rates.
Protecting employees by creating a safe work environment helps the business bottom line because it costs far less to prevent injuries or illness than it does to experience workers comp claims. When employees know that owners and managers care about the work environment and their safety, companies will experience less turnover, higher productivity, reduced employee absences and better morale. These results typically provide savings on workers comp and health care costs as well.
Creating a safe workplace also means providing the right safety equipment and gear to protect workers and their surroundings. Install automatic sprinklers and fire extinguishers. Train employees on the proper use of equipment and the right procedures to report a hazard or injury.
Recognizing the value and importance in safe working environments, West Virginia created a workplace safety hotline in 2010 shortly after the explosion at Upper Big Branch mine. This employee resource is provided so that workers will call if they feel they have no recourse with their employer in regard to safety issues in the workplace. The 24 hour hotline is anonymous.
The best solution for employers prior to employees using a workplace safety hotline is to open the lines of communications. As the front line in every business, employees can offer valuable insight about safety and employee issues, but only when they feel empowered on the job by management that shows care and concern.