Jobs in the manufacturing sector come with some risks to workers' physical safety, and when a worker suffers an injury, the entire company suffers as a result.
Naturally, you want to keep your employees safe for their own sake. Another reason to implement, and enforce, strict safety guidelines is to reduce lost time injury rates.
Keep your business running smoothly, with minimal loss of productivity, by taking steps to curtail on-the-job injuries.
Definition of Lost Time Injury
Before we discuss ways to reduce the risk of lost time injuries, a definition is in order.
A lost time injury (LTI) occurs when a worker gets hurt and is unable to complete his or her duties for a minimum of one shift or workday. Inability to perform the job, time taken for recovery, and modified duties during recovery all count toward a company's LTI rate.
Why It's Important to Track Lost Time Injuries
LTIs are the principal benchmark of a company's safety performance. Once you understand the rate at which the company is losing time (and productivity, and money), you can take steps to improve safety.
The Most Common Types of Lost Time Injuries
Although the injuries that your employees most commonly sustain are dependent on the industry as well as the kind of work they do, the eight most frequent causes of lost time include:
- Back sprain/strain
- Neck sprain/strain
- Upper arm or shoulder sprain
- Knee sprain
- Lumbar disc displacement
- Ankle sprain
- Knee contusion
- Knee cartilage tear
How To Reduce Lost Time Injury Rates
You know the old saying about an ounce of prevention, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” One of the best ways to get the most preventative bang for your buck is to hire consultants who can assess the safety and ergonomics of your workplace. They will work with you to develop a preventative care model.
Making certain that employees are educated about injury prevention is also paramount to the reduction of LTIs. You may need to schedule mandatory training or educational sessions so that everyone understands any new guidelines or processes you put into place.
Unfortunately, there may be a number of workers who take shortcuts with safety measures -- either in order to increase their productivity or to avoid hassle. If you feel that corner-cutting could be an issue in your facility, consider implementing disciplinary steps when workers are careless.
It's also crucial to establish a culture of safety. If workers feel that management turns a blind eye to injuries when they occur, all the education you provide will fall on deaf ears. The same is true when employees aren't provided with the proper protective equipment.
Lastly, implementing safety protocols is not a one-and-done occurrence. Each time a new process, piece of machinery, or worker enters the mix, you will want to conduct a risk assessment. It's also smart to require occasional refresher courses in operational safety.
Lowering lost time injury rates is beneficial to your individual workers, your team's morale, and of course to your bottom line.
Are you concerned that your workplace isn't up to snuff when it comes to injury prevention? Give us a call and let us take a look!