Safety programs can reduce workplace accidents

| Apr 23, 2018 | Workers' Compensation |

Louisiana companies and others that use the Safety Performance Evaluation Process, or STEP, can make their workplaces up to 670 percent safer. This is according to the 2018 Safety Performance Report issued by Associated Builders and Contractors. According to the report, companies that used the STEP system saw a drop in reportable safety accidents of 85 percent. Associated Builders and Contractors also found that STEP was more effective when both managers and employees were trained.

The program allows companies to use 20 different metrics to measure their progress and track their results against industry averages. Companies that use the STEP process can implement a variety of safety programs such as toolbox talks and putting together a safety committee. They can also use substance abuse and new-hire orientation programs to reduce the odds of an accident.

Construction site workers face a variety of safety hazards on the job, such as being hit by falling objects. The Center for Construction Research and Training found that 800 workers were killed in struck-by accidents between 2011 and 2015. Of that group, 51 percent of workers who were not hit by a vehicle were hit by falling objects or by falling equipment. If a worker is hurt or becomes ill on a construction site, an employer must generally report it to OSHA.

If a worker is hurt in a workplace accident, he or she may be entitled to compensation. Typically, an injured employee can file for workers compensation benefits. However, if the accident occurred because of gross negligence on behalf of the employer or the manufacturer of safety gear, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed. In a workers compensation case, an employee might have his or her medical bills related to the injury paid as well as recoup partial lost wages.