As a business owner, employee and worksite safety is oftentimes a top priority. Business risk and safety is evaluated differently depending on business operational factors, such as business size, employee exposure to different hazards, external versus internal risks, and much more. So what do risk management and workers’ compensation analysts look for in their risk assessments and what are some best practices for businesses?
Preventable Risks (Internal)
Preventable risks, also referred to as internal risks, refer to risks pertaining to employee performance, procedural faults, and poor infrastructure. Internal risks are typically preventable as they involve controllable processes, business decisions, and compliance matters.
An example of an internal risk is job task analysis. Different tasks expose employees to varying degrees of risk. For example, a manufacturing employee might experience exposure to loud noises, hazardous substances, higher risk of a falling object or machine-related injury, whereas an office worker may pose a higher risk for a trip and fall, chronic back pains, eye strain, or things from repetitive movements. A risk analyst conducting a job task analysis for an office-bound role might assess ergonomic keyboards and mice, desk height, desk chair adjustments and comfort, and quality of screen (i.e., level of brightness that could contribute to eye strain). Risk analysts typically provide business policies and implement procedures to ensure workplace safety guidelines and best practices.
Another internal risk could be worksite safety analysis. A risk analyst conducting a worksite assessment will consider all pertinent environmental and physical factors that may pose risk(s) to employees, such as removing or relocating a cord on the floor as it creates a tripping hazard.
External risks involve events that are usually outside of a business’s control, such as economic trends, government compliance changes, and market demands. External risks rely heavily on data-driven research and results and evaluations are based on potential risk categories.
An example of an external risk would be the COVID-19 pandemic. While businesses could not necessarily foresee such a significant impact COVID-19 has had but conducting an external risk for a crisis such as a global health pandemic could have better-prepared businesses for said experience. Developing a business continuity plan,
Employee and Worksite Safety Best Practices
- Begin at top of business funnel. First and foremost, in effectuating any sort of organizational change especially changes involving risk management, it is imperative to involve the stakeholders in each stage of the process. Second, fostering a healthy risk culture is typically lead by management and board of directors. Leading by example from the top down can assist in creating awareness, expectations, and a balanced perspective companywide.
- Establish clear, consistent communications. Anything involving risks and implementing changes to address such risks requires clear communication to all levels of the company. All risks that are identified, evaluated, and resolved should be communicated to the entire organization.
- Develop simple, straightforward policies. Remove the technical jargon and develop clear policies your employees understand. Address any questions, concerns, or feedback your employees may have to ensure any and all risk mitigation efforts are effective.
- Monitor organizational risks regularly. Continuously evaluating risk management is part of the process. Monitor what works and what doesn’t. As businesses oftentimes shift, whether they downsize due to COVID-19, transition to remote work environments, or are able to bring on more employees, it is pertinent for employers to evaluate various risks employees may face.
If you’re looking for safety and risk management solutions, Harbor America is your partner PEO. Harbor America’s workers’ compensation and risk management team offers accident prevention strategies, compliance resources, online training manuals, claims management, and customized safety plans. Don’t strive to be an expert, contact Harbor America!