Did you know that businesses across the United States collectively lost upwards of $171 billion in work injury costs in 2019? That amounts to around $1,100 in injury costs per worker and $42,000 per medically consulted workplace injury. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), wages and productivity losses due to workplace injury amounted to $53.9 billion, medical expenses due to workplace injuries added another $35.5 billion, and administrative expenses totaled $59.7 billion.
Calculating the total value of time away from work due to injury is also hard to calculate, and in many instances workers who suffer from serious injuries while on the job may struggle to regain prior productivity levels.
Obviously, then, reducing the frequency and severity of workplace injuries should be a priority for every type of business. Though minor cuts, slips, and falls inevitably occur to every worker, reducing the frequency of OSHA recordables should be the foundation of every workplace injury reduction strategy. Below, we briefly outline what OSHA recordable incidents entail, and explain a few strategies to help reduce your OSHA recordables.
What are OSHA Recordables?
By law, every business and employer in the United States is required by OSHA to keep strict records of any illness, injury, and fatality that occurs to their employees while on the job. Businesses are not required to report minor injuries (such as a superficial wound) or illnesses (such as the common cold) that only require first aid attention.
However, many businesses are often confused regarding the specific recording requirements as outlined by OSHA. Learning the exact definition of OSHA recordables is important for compliance, and also because having a higher incidence of OSHA recordables will certainly increase your workers’ compensation costs.
So how exactly does OSHA define a recordable injury or illness?
- Every workplace injury or illness that requires treatment beyond basic first aid. In general, if your employee has to seek professional medical attention at a hospital or clinic, this will almost always qualify as an OSHA recordable.
- Any injury that results in restricted workloads and/or a forced job transfer. If an injury limits a worker's ability to perform essential job functions, you will also need to report this as an OSHA recordable.
- Every work-related injury that results in a loss of consciousness, even in professional medical care is not sought out or required.
- Every injury that causes the worker to miss work days.
You can find a more complete and detailed list of OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting at this link.
Strategies to Reduce your OSHA Recordables?
Once you have identified what qualifies as a reportable OSHA incident, you can develop different strategies, policies, and workplace protocols to limit the frequency and severity of these incidents. Carrying out a workplace safety assessment is often the first step in identifying the specific triggers and vulnerabilities that could lead to serious workplace injuries and illnesses.
Once those triggers are identified, designing a hazard prevention protocol is essential to mitigate those risks. For every type of business, proper employee training programs are also fundamental to help limit OSHA recordables. Training programs can be specifically tailored to individual workers. For example, electrical workers might learn specific techniques to avoid burns and electrocution, while office workers who spend long hours in front of a computer may require training in proper ergonomic setup of their office space.
Reduce Your OSHA Recordables With Work-Fit
Lastly, companies may also decide that hiring a third party contractor is the best strategy to help your company avoid the potentially expensive costs that come with high rates of OSHA recordable incidents. Work-Fit is one leading company that offers onsite injury prevention and management for your workforce. As the nationwide leader in applying sports medicine techniques in the workplace to prevent injuries and increase your company's bottom line, we have years of experience in helping businesses in dozens of different industries design and implement holistic injury prevention programs and injury management practices.
Our employee wellness program can also help to generate important savings for your company by leading to higher productivity levels and less days away from work.
If you are interested in developing strategies, policies, and protocols to limit your OSHA recordables, contact Work-Fit today to learn about how they can help your team.