The National Safety Council (NSC) has declared the month of June each year “National Safety Month.” While safety should always be top-of-mind in the workplace, National Safety Month is a good reminder to do an annual check-up on safety practices in our workplaces.

Unfortunately, workplace injuries happen frequently across the country. A recent report from says 3.7 million workers are injured each year, according to OSHA. As a result of these workplace injuries, businesses spend $170 billion per year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses. The same article cites a report released by The Travelers Companies Inc., the largest workers’ compensation insurance carrier in the U.S., which identified the most common causes of workplace accidents and injuries as:

  • Material handling
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Being struck by or colliding with an object
  • Accidents involving tools
  • Traumas occurring over time (including when a part of the body is injured by overuse or strain)

Interestingly, any type of workplace injury can negatively impact your business operations and the productivity at your plant. A Travelers executive is quoted as saying, “Even seemingly minor injuries, such as strains or sprains, can substantially impact an employee and slow a business’s operations and productivity… The most common injuries we see can often be prevented if the proper safety measures are in place, if safety issues are promptly addressed, and if leaders continuously emphasize a culture of safety with employees.”

Safety issues impact every industry, but certain causes of injuries and accidents seem to be more prevalent in some industries than others. For instance, material handling accidents were especially common in the manufacturing and retail industries, while also being the top cause of injuries overall. Falls from height were more common in the construction and retail industries than in other industries. And the oil and gas industry was the only industry in which motor vehicle accidents were one of the most frequent causes of workplace injury.

Whatever industry you’re in, you should make it a point to set aside time during the coming few weeks to review safety practices at your plant. Ensure a culture of safety with your employees by offering safety training, and hopefully you’ll prevent workplace injuries that could harm your employees and negatively impact your business.

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