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Tuesday 17 May 2022
Protecting your organisation’s valuable talent asset – your workforce – is essential to productivity and profitability. It requires evaluating risk factors related to each employee’s role, job duties, job site and status (short-term or long-term, full-time or part-time).
Consider these seven types of employees and what measures you may need to take to help ensure their safety and wellbeing and reduce worker compensation claims.
Inexperience can lead to increased injury rates among young workers starting their careers. According to Travelers data, nearly one-third of workplace injuries occur within the first 12 months on the job. Employees new to the workplace should learn about your organisation’s safety culture during onboarding and receive ongoing training to prevent injuries.
Employers integrating remote work into their everyday operations can help employees lower work-at-home risks by offering ergonomic advice to help remote workers work more comfortably at home. Employers may also consider providing ergonomic equipment, including desks or desk chairs. Remote workers should also be encouraged to fix any potential slip, trip and fall hazards near their working areas.
Temporary workers need safety training. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommendations², organisations should treat temporary workers like any other employees. An effective onboarding and training process should provide them with safety training specific to their roles and include identifying potential hazards to help reduce their injury risks.
Seasonal employees may be new employees, temporary employees or both. Just like full-time and temporary employees, seasonal hires need onboarding and safety training to help reduce the risk of injuries. Providing sufficient training specific to their job duties, equipment use and site hazards can help prevent injuries. With preparation, you won’t be caught short-handed at a time when you need all hands on deck.
Workers with language assistance needs
Communication constraints may reduce the impact of safety training. Providing workplace safety instructions to workers in a language they understand is essential. Using visually oriented materials and having a bilingual instructor deliver training to workers who may be more comfortable with other languages can help promote worker safety and prevent workplace injuries.
Workers in new roles
Experienced workers transferring to a new role may not realise the risks associated with a new role, equipment or location. It is best to provide an employee with safety training specific to their new responsibilities. Assigning a mentor or having the employee ‘shadow’ a co-worker can also be an effective solution to help avoid injury.
Workers assigned to the second or third shifts at a facility may not have the same level of oversight as day workers and may present additional risks that may not be present for day-shift workers. For example, shift workers may be more susceptible to fatigue, poor eating habits, dehydration and increased stress levels. These factors may affect concentration and increase risk of injury. Having shift supervisors identify and address risks related to shift work can help promote safety.
Jane Glyn, Public Sector Practice Leader at Travelers Europe.