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Make Safety Your Business

Take preventive steps to cut costs, boost morale

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

If you manage an office staff, you may view safety as a distant concern. But just because you operate in a seemingly benign corporate environment doesn’t mean you should ignore health issues.

By raising safety awareness and training your team, you can not only show your concern for their welfare but also help your employer save money on workers’ comp and disability insurance.

“It doesn’t help to be hot on safety for a few months and then forget about it,” says Donald Theune, VP of the Topf Organization, a consulting firm in King of Prussia, Pa.

Here’s how to reinforce the need for safety so that it sinks in over time:

Use visual reminders. Hang posters in visible spots that give CPR pointers, warnings on machinery use, and exercise or stretching tips. You can get free “wall art” from the U.S. Labor Department (www.dol.gov), OSHA (www.osha.gov) and your state government.

Weave in training. Allot 10 minutes of your weekly staff meeting to safety. Discuss topics such as seasonal dangers (driving on ice in winter, drowning in summer) or heart-smart stress reduction tips. Some firms such as State Farm Insurance and Bankers Trust keep defibrillators on hand to treat employees who suffer cardiac arrest and offer training for lay people to use the equipment.

Host “lunch ‘n’ learn” events. Most employees break for lunch, so they might as well learn something at the same time.

For little or no cost, you can invite guest speakers such as nutritionists, physicians or safety consultants to address workers. Some workers’ comp insurers will even send a “loss reduction” expert to help employees spot and eliminate unsafe conditions.

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