Workplace Safety: It's Not Just About Compliance
Workplace safety is a critical component of any business operation. It is not just a legal requirement but a fundamental commitment that directly influences an organisation's long-term success.
By ensuring the well-being of employees, businesses can protect their most valuable asset and create a work environment that promotes productivity and innovation.
While work-related injury and fatality rates have fallen over the last decade, each year just under 200 workers are killed by, and over 100,000 compensated for, work-related injury.
Findings from Safe Work Australia's latest Workers' Compensation Statistics Report (2020-21) revealed the following:
- Total Claims: 130,195 serious workers' compensation claims were filed during 2020-21.
- Top Industries Affected: Healthcare and social assistance, construction, and manufacturing had the highest proportion of serious claims. Together, these industries accounted for 44% of all serious claims while making up only around 29% of the workforce.
- Leading Causes: Body stressing (37%), followed by falls, trips, and slips (23%), were the most common types of injuries reported.
- Downtime: The median time lost for a serious claim increased by 30%, from 5.4 to 7 working weeks.
- Gender Distribution: 61% of all reported claims were filed by male workers and 39% by female workers.
With Safe Work Month just around the corner, it is a good reminder of the importance of workplace safety and our collective responsibility to create a secure and healthy work environment.
Businesses are encouraged to review their safety protocols, identify potential hazards, and implement measures to help mitigate risks. This includes providing employees with the necessary training and equipment and creating a safety culture where employees feel comfortable reporting hazards and accidents.
Why Workplace Safety Matters
By creating a safe and healthy work environment, businesses can protect their employees from injuries and illnesses, reduce liability exposure, and improve their bottom line. There are also several other benefits, including:
- Enhanced physical and mental well-being of employees
- Boosted employee morale and job satisfaction
- Greater productivity and higher performance
- Lower absenteeism
- A business with a good safety record is more likely to be seen as a desirable place to work. This can help to attract and retain top talent.
- Less workplace injury leads to reduced workers' compensation claims, medical expenses, and insurance premiums
Strategies for Improving Workplace Health and Safety
- Provide thorough training to employees on safe work practices, equipment operation, and hazard recognition.
- Conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards in the workplace. This proactive approach allows businesses to address issues before accidents occur.
- Maintain open channels of communication between management and employees to encourage reporting of safety concerns.
- Provide necessary PPE to employees based on their roles.
- Design workplaces with proper seating, lighting, and workstation layout to help prevent strain-related injuries.
- Implement wellness initiatives to promote physical and mental well-being, for example, stress management workshops, fitness activities, and mental health support.
- Conduct routine inspections to ensure equipment and machinery are well-maintained and compliant with safety standards.
How Coverforce can help
Our experienced Coverforce Workplace Services (CWS) team can assist your business with embedding safe working processes and identifying risks and hazards in your workplace. Contact them directly at (02) 9098 5500.
Your local Coverforce Insurance broker can provide your business with sound risk advice and quality insurance coverage at competitive rates. Contact your local Coverforce Office today.
The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require advice that is tailored to your specific business or individual circumstances, please contact Coverforce directly.
Australian Workers Compensation Statistics 2020-21: Safe Work Australia
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