Over the course of the last century, work life in the United States has undergone significant enhancements, largely attributed to a reevaluation of occupational safety. Although the Industrial Revolution failed to provide adequate comfort to its labor force, the atrocities and workplace horrors witnessed in workplaces during that era ultimately paved the way for the establishment of contemporary Worker's Compensation programs, which are rightfully in place today.
In the early days of the industrial era, obtaining work under any conditions was considered a privilege, which often resulted in dangerous and unsanitary working conditions with no safety regulations in place for machinery operation, exposure to hazardous chemicals, or working in poorly ventilated areas. Children were also allowed to work under these conditions, and employees had little to no recourse for permanent disabilities.
The state of Wisconsin passed the first comprehensive workers' compensation law in 1911, followed by nine other states the same year, and a total of 36 states by the end of the decade. It wasn't until 1948 that Mississippi became the final state to pass workers' compensation legislation.
In 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found there were 2,607,900 total recordable cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the private industry. Additionally, there were 5,190 fatal work-related injuries across all sectors.
Despite advancements in working conditions, workplace injuries still remain a present day concern. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was an 8.9% rise in the number of fatal work injuries in the United States from 4,764 in 2020 to 5,190 in 2021.
Safety initiatives have become a priority for employers. Not only do these programs protect employees, but they also benefit employers financially and contribute to the overall health and growth of a business.
A 2021 study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that for every dollar spent on wellness programs, employers saved an average of $2.71 in healthcare costs and $2.73 in absenteeism costs. This represents a significant return on investment and highlights the importance of investing in employee health and wellbeing.
As more companies realize the return on investment these programs offer, Occupational Health & Wellness programs are becoming more popular. If you are ready to prioritize employee health and implement one of these programs, contact Workplace Safety Screenings for assistance in making workplace accidents and injuries a thing of the past. We can help you get started by...
Identify Your Health Risks
- Ask yourself what risks are associated with your industry or unique business,
- Rank and prioritize risks based on prevalence.
- Develop controls to mitigate these risks.
- Train staff on ways to implement controls once determined.
- Educate employees and management on the dangers of workplace hazards.
- Create a disciplinary program to address non-compliance with established protocols.
What Can You Manage or Improve?
- Assess employee's fitness for duty.
- Monitor risks for individual employees based on pre-existing conditions or family history.
- Monitor employees who may be at high risk for specific hazards.
- Regularly assess the effectiveness of controls based on findings.
- Offer rehabilitation assistance to employees in case of an accident or injury.
Preventative Care & Health Promotion
- Organize wellness fairs to educate employees on practical lifestyle changes that can improve their health.
- Provide additional employee benefits that promote healthy living and fitness.
- Offer company-wide health initiatives to encourage positive change.
- Recognize and celebrate safety-conscious employees who set an example for a healthy work culture.
- Give employees access to on-site practitioners who can address their health concerns are some effective measures to ensure a healthy workforce.
Occupational Health & Wellness programs can prove to be cost-effective and yield tremendous benefits for your business. By adopting a worker wellness program offered by Workplace Safety Screenings, you can usher in a new era of worker safety.