Workplace safety top concern for businesses in 2014

February 20, 2014

Keeping employees safe at work is a top concern for small business owners, according to a survey sponsored by Employers Holdings, a national holding company for workers’ compensation insurance carriers.

Workplace safety risks were cited as the source of greatest worry and the area where small business owners expect to dedicate most of their attention this year, more than professional liability risks, cyber-security risks, natural disaster risks and terrorism risks.

“Small business owners realize they have to protect their most valuable assets – their employees,” said Employers’ chief operating officer Stephen V. Festa. “Employee injuries can carry a significant cost, not only in terms of medical and workers’ compensation expenses, but also in terms of lost productivity and potentially lower workplace morale.”

“We wanted to see how prepared small business owners believe they are for the types of injuries that are most common in the workplace, or if they were placing too much emphasis on events that are unlikely to occur,” Festa said. “We were relieved to find that the most common type of injuries – slips, trips and falls – was cited most often. However, we were surprised that almost four out of five small business owners did not claim to be most prepared for them.”

Slips, trips and falls account for nearly a quarter of all nonfatal workplace injuries1 and 15% of all fatal workplace injuries2 that occur in the private sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other common causes of workplace injuries that small business owners said they are prepared to handle include motor vehicle accidents (12%) and employees coming into harmful contact with objects and equipment (12%).

Small business owners felt least prepared to address acts of violence or fires or explosions that occur at the workplace.

Click graph to view larger size.

Click graph to view larger size.

 

By IFAwebnews Staff – Steven Festa