Injury or illness because of an unhealthy or unsafe work environment can prove costly for everyone involved, from the ailing workers and their families to the employer and the business. That’s why it is critical to maintain industry safety standards and ensure the risk of grave injuries or diseases is as low as possible.
Workplace safety is not new, with the Federal Employers Liability Law (FELA) coming into effect in 1908, followed by workers’ comp in 1911. these miletones are crucial to understanding how far occupational safety has come over the years.
The following information highlights the importance of these events and elaborates on how new businesses can further improve safety on work sites.
Brief historical overview
FELA was formed in quick response to the railway network expansion of the time, wherein workers were exposed to dangerous hazards. The act ensured employers were held liable if workers were severely injured or even died due to occupational dangers. The workers’ compensation that came later provided medical care and lost wages to injured individuals on the job site.
Finally, the rise of safety agencies such as the Department of Labor, NSC, and OSHA have furthered the cause of occupational safety through their efforts. In their respective roles, they have set wage standards, ensured safety protocols, and provided limitless resources to train the unemployed.
Millions of business owners and employees celebrate these milestones today because it has paved the way for them to work in a safer environment.
Why you should have workers’ compensation
Although workers’ comp can help injured employees with medical care, disability benefits, lost wages, and other expenses, it does not protect only them. The coverage effectively shields employers from fraudulent injury claims that can quickly lead to lawsuits.
Invariably, it is highly recommended that you invest in a robust workers’ compensation policy, even if you run a self-employed company with the aid of independent contractors. That’s because such workers can also get injured at the workplace, causing loss to your business and opening doors to a potential lawsuit. Also, injuries occur more frequently in blue-collar jobs that require people to do heavy lifting or operate complex machinery, among other challenging tasks.
Therefore, insurance coverage can protect you against such unforeseen incidents, ensuring access to court costs and attorney fees and enabling you to avoid incarceration and massive fines. Look for companies with premiums at affordable rates, allowing you to modify or change the plan annually as per changing business requirements. Generally, they can also help with claims services and anti-fraud and return-to-work programs.
How safety is ensured at the workplace now
Employees must follow occupational safety guidelines in place by legal authorities, ensuring they maintain caution at all times, especially during difficult jobs such as construction or mining. However, employers are also taking extra steps to ensure a safe workplace by installing fall protection, robust rails, steady pathways, and other equipment wherever necessary.
Depending on the industry, they are also handing out top-quality safety gear such as goggles, anti-slip footwear, hard helmets, and similar items. With an increasing number of people working remotely in recent years, some employers have gone a step further and provided ergonomic chairs, desks, and other products to make them more comfortable.
Ultimately, it also helps prevent joint issues, neck sprain, and back problems for those who spend long hours in one spot.