Employer Safety

Safety is a Key Feature of Your Business

An employer's commitment to safety not only helps protect its employees, a business’s most valuable resource, but it also helps prevent both personal and financial loss.

As an employer, you are responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment for all workers. A potential safety hazard caught early may avoid a work-related injury or a workers’ compensation claim altogether. Making safety a part of your work culture can help lower the chances of a work-related injury occurring. As an employer, you should conduct regular walk-throughs to assess workplace conditions, look for potential hazards in the workplace, and visit with workers about how to make the job safer.

A few examples of hazards are:

  • Toxic substances - solvents, metals, dusts
  • Physical - walkways, temperature, noise, tools, motor vehicle accidents
  • Ergonomic - poor job design increases the risk of musculoskeletal diseases
  • Biological - bloodborne pathogens

Management’s Commitment to Safety

It is essential for employers to fully commit to the development and maintenance of a safe work environment.

Communicate Safety to Your Workers

A safe work environment means an ongoing commitment to training. A written safety program will help keep the efforts going and provide documentation of the company’s efforts.

  • Make sure new workers are thoroughly oriented to the workplace and shown how to complete their jobs safely. This includes seasonal or temporary workers or those contracted from an employment agency.
  • All managers and supervisors should be trained to recognize and control potential safety hazards, monitor safety procedures, and identify unsafe work habits.
  • Review all safety procedures with all employees on an annual basis.

Provide Medical Care Instructions to Your Workers

Employers should post the Important Notice to Workers poster from WSI in a visible and noticeable location. This poster provides workers with information on what to do if an injury occurs on the job and the types of benefits available if injured.

Employers can select a designated medical provider(s) (DMP) to care for their workers - if injured on the job. If you choose a DMP, you must notify all workers of the DMP selection and have written documentation of the notice. Employers must also notify all workers that they have the option to add additional providers to their employer’s selection. WSI recommends employers display notice of the DMP in a visible area of the workplace to increase the awareness of the DMP.

All injured workers are required to see the company’s DMP for medical care unless, the injured worker previously informed the employer, in writing, of a different medical provider selection prior to the injury. If an injured worker sees your company’s DMP, the worker may request to change providers after 60 days of treatment by the DMP. Please note that if a worker chooses their own doctor (and informs you appropriately), the injured worker will always have the option of seeing your company’s DMP. Employers need to provide workers with the basic information on workers’ compensation coverage and benefits at the time of hire and when an injury occurs.

Develop Guidelines for Investigating Workplace Injuries

Each injury is an opportunity to review the safety practices at your workplace. Following an injury, conduct investigations immediately, while the information is still fresh in people’s minds. Then take the necessary corrective action to prevent the injury from happening again.

The investigation should be conducted by a safety professional and/or team. If your company does not have a policy in place for reporting injuries or investigating work-related injuries, please contact our Loss Control Education Department.

A written accident investigation report should include the following elements:

  • Inspect the accident site
  • Reasons why the incident happened
  • Circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Secure evidence and take photographs of where the incident happened.
  • Interview all witnesses and others near or at the accident area and document their statements. Conduct interviews in a sensitive manner at a comfortable location.
  • Outline the necessary and corrective actions that will prevent the injury from happening again.

If an investigation concludes that your worker’s injury is not the company’s responsibility or seems to be questionable in nature, please note this in the employers comments section on the First Report of Injury (FROI) form.  If the FROI has already been submitted to WSI, please call us with your concerns.

Review Your Company’s Past Injuries

You may request a loss run report from WSI, which lists all claims and medical costs paid on your account. Analyzing your company’s work injuries helps you identify those areas that may be in need of improvement and can help you avoid future losses. To request a loss run report, email ndwsi@nd.gov