The importance of implementing an effective onsite injury prevention strategy
Reviewed by Rodney Hampel, Head of Business Development
An effective onsite injury prevention strategy is paramount when it comes to fostering a ‘safety-first’ culture within an organisation. With workplace injuries often causing significant physical and financial burdens within an organisation, implementing preventative measures is crucial to safeguarding the health of your workforce, not to mention it plays a crucial role in reducing the cost of rising workers’ compensation premiums, and significantly adds to an organisation employee value proposition.
In FY22, nearly half a million workers across Australia had a work-related injury or illness. An average of $13,883 per physical injury, which is over $6.7 billion spent by employers on claims1.
When it comes to implementing an effective injury prevention strategy, it is recommended that employers supply their employees with comprehensive safety training, promote a safety-conscious culture across all areas of the organisation, and ensure adequate support and commitment from senior personnel. By prioritising injury prevention, businesses can significantly reduce absenteeism, enhance employee morale, and elevate overall productivity. And while it may not be possible to mitigate all workplace injuries, there are proactive steps workplaces can take to minimise or prevent them from occurring.
Why is it important to have an onsite injury prevention strategy?
Proactive onsite injury prevention strategies are important as they not only protect those at the highest risk of injury through their particular job roles but also the persons conducting a business or undertakings (PCBUs) who ultimately hold responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees. Ultimately, taking measures to ensure that your workplace is safe is not only cost-effective but is instrumental when it comes to improving employee morale.
Onsite injury prevention strategies are also increasingly important because of their ability to:
- Empower employees with the knowledge of how to respond to an incident if it occurs.
- Encourage employees to report any hazardous situations.
- Educate employees on how to access early intervention treatment and support to reduce the severity of an injury and fast-track their recovery.
- Reduce worker’s compensation claims and costs.
- Help verify that potential employees have the professional experience and physical acumen to safely perform all duties required of the job.
- Provide an opportunity to train and upskill employees on how best to move and care for their bodies particularly if they are employed in a physical role.
- Provide a framework for more effective safety communications with employees.
- Potentially lower insurance premium rates
- Provide employees with the tools and techniques to proactively improve their health and wellness, both at work and at home.
How do workplace injury prevention strategies contribute to safer and healthier workplaces?
A workplace can get on the front foot when it comes to managing workplace injuries through the implementation of an onsite injury prevention program. Delivery of an onsite injury prevention programs can take many forms and may involve physiotherapy, early intervention strategies, injury management consulting, strength and conditioning programs, risk assessments, manual handling training, flexibility testing, nutrition advice or even workplace vaccinations.
Bodycare recognises that all these preventative measures work together to contribute to a safer and healthier work environment, considering the various risks to worker wellbeing.
What are the potential consequences of neglecting to implement an injury prevention program?
Neglecting workplace injury prevention strategies can have grave consequences for both employees and employers. Potential outcomes include:
- An increased risk of workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses.
- Significant disruptions in workflow and increased operational costs because of absenteeism, disability leave, and reduced productivity due to injuries.
- High employee turnover driven by poor safety.
- Legal and financial consequences.
- Damage to company reputation.
- Demotivated and disengaged employees due to their employer’s disregard for their safety and wellbeing.
- Increased healthcare costs and insurance premiums.
- Strained relationships with regulatory authorities that can lead to increased scrutiny and potential further penalties.
To avoid these consequences, it is crucial for employers to prioritise workplace safety, implement onsite injury prevention strategies, supply adequate training, maintain safe working conditions, and regularly review and update safety policies and procedures. Investing in safety not only protects employees but also contributes to the long-term success of the business.
How can an effective workplace injury prevention strategy positively affect productivity and efficiency?
An effective onsite injury prevention program not only ensures the safety and wellbeing of employees but also leads to improved productivity, efficiency, and overall organisational performance2. The strengthening of employee morale, triggered by the ability to enjoy a safe working environment, gives a boost to productivity and overall efficiency. This has a positive impact on the bottom line and sets it apart as a desirable workplace.
Practical elements of an injury prevention strategy might include:
- Developing a scorecard that tracks the progress of any new initiatives delivered each quarter and their impact.
- Incorporating a safety and wellbeing plan
- Conducting pre-employment health assessments
- Educating employees often and effectively
- Researching safety vulnerabilities
- Supplying protective equipment
- Having adequate staffing levels
- Inspecting and maintaining company vehicles and equipment
- Monitoring safety measures
- Keeping an orderly workplace.
How do workplace injury prevention strategies align with the legal and ethical responsibilities of employers?
The practical elements of an injury prevention strategy listed above cover many of the employer’s legal obligations to provide a safe workplace, as occupational health and safety is tightly linked with ethical, legislative, and business aspects in Australia. This means that developing and adhering to preventative strategies for the workplace is the responsibility of all employers, because of their duty of care when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of workers while they are at work in the business or undertaking3.
How can Bodycare support you with building your strategy?
Bodycare’s aim is to prevent workplace injuries and create healthy bodies by taking a proactive approach to early intervention, injury management, education, and training. We have never accepted the “break-fix” model of waiting for an employee to be injured before having them treated. It is already too late then. We believe in analysing root causes, developing programs to lower risk profiles and acting fast to minimise harm.
Bodycare’s goal is to provide its partners with a comprehensive range of onsite injury prevention services and tools to ensure their workforce remains safe, fit and healthy. To learn more about how a Bodycare Onsite Injury Prevention Program can be designed for your workplace, get in touch with our friendly team.