Can Workplace Injuries be Reduced by Employees Staying Home?September 13, 2021
Workplace injuries are more common than one may think, and in many cases, the injuries are more severe than expected. As many know, workplace injuries are usually expensive and normally lessen the company’s production and efficiency when there is an employee absent. In recent years, injury management has developed, making the workplace a much safer place. The time and effort put into preventing injuries will reduce the risks that were once of great concern. To prevent injuries in the workplace, especially during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important for employers and their employees understand how to adapt to the so-called new-normal workplace and safety standards.
How can Work Injuries be Reduced in the New Normal?
All companies have a workplace routine sanitation and safety plan that follows their own protocol. In the past year, companies have adapted to new guidelines and procedures because of COVID-19 to ensure everyone’s safety. Any employee who has contracted COVID-19 at work can receive Workers’ Compensation, especially those who have suffered long-term health consequences from the virus. New policies related to quarantining as a result of a positive test must also be in place at all times. To ensure that the virus does not spread, it is vital to sanitize the workspace as often as possible.
Along with the many updates in procedure, the new normal requires an organized safety plan. One example is removing the possibility of any hazards if an employee works from home. In doing this, companies are creating a set of guidelines and requirements for those who choose to work remotely that they must follow. Many companies now have a requirement that employees create a designated workspace at home. This prevents them from working on their couch or in bed. This is to ensure that the workplace meets electrical and safety standards.
It seems that as of 2020, remote working or working from home has become the new normal. Since the pandemic, a survey reported that about 70 percent of U.S. workers were performing their full-time jobs completely remote or from home due to the pandemic. In hindsight, this is a positive way to reduce the risk of a workplace injury. Events such as accidents or minor mishaps are less likely as well as the advantage of fewer workers in a set workplace. This may be a time for management to embrace the new normal and encourage remote working when possible.
Other ways to avoid workplace injuries are through training and investing in personal protection equipment (PPE). To ensure that workers are safe and prepared, companies must properly train the employees. Someone who is not trained properly or not at all is putting themselves and others at risk for possible injury. This also means that an untrained worker would not be aware of the workplace hazards that are known to be an issue at that specific company. Maintaining updates in regard to training courses has become the new normal to avoid any injuries. In doing this, management and companies can highlight the newest information related to risks at home or the office. It is also important for employees to be educated on how to self-identify hazards and avoid injuries.
Since the pandemic, PPE has been used to protect workers not only from injury, but also from COVID-19. For example, equipment such as eye protection, respiratory masks, suits, and other precautions have become layered protection for both the workplace and fighting against COVID-19.
Another manner to consider is complying with new government legislation. In the government’s interest in keeping citizens healthy, safe, and employed, they have passed legislation that is aimed to keep all workers safe. This new normal is related to all companies needing to maintain any legislative mandates and remain in compliance with all safety updates to reduce injury and accidents. One example of this is modernizing inspections. It is vital that the workplace is inspected routinely, potential hazards are identified, and any other risks are brought to the attention of management. In the new normal, inspecting a remote workplace may seem a little difficult, but it can be done.
Companies can set up a video conference with each individual remote worker and inspect their workplace digitally. Requesting a submission of photos of their workplace for documentation can also be done in agreement with the company’s safety procedures and government legislation.
Finally, in a time of new normal, taking advantage of new technology may help avoid workplace injuries. Updated software to track injuries will record what happened at a said place and time so all that documentation is in order. There are instances in which workers change positions, roles, and locations, and if there are new trends or issues, this data will all be recorded in hopes of preventing future injury.
What are Some Ways to Reduce Workplace Injuries?
There are many factors to consider, but there are some important factors we can no longer ignore. In a time of a national pandemic, safety standards and awareness are very important. We live in a world in which day-to-day digital reporting and checklists can be made and completed. Communicating with workers who are not in a traditional office has become much easier with technology constantly changing. Anything related to protocols, human resources needs, or compliance is something to always enforce. Finally, any formal training that can be done remotely may save workers, and the company, from suffering from a workplace injury during the early stages of a new employee’s career.
Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Advocate for Injured Workers
If you were injured while performing your work duties, you should be able to collect compensation for your losses. The Delaware County Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello can help you through the process and fight to ensure that your claim is successful. For a free consultation, fill out an online registration form or call us at 610-892-4940. Our office is in Media, Pennsylvania. We represent clients in Media, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, West Chester, and throughout Pennsylvania.