An ideal work environment is an environment in which employees feel their safety and well being is considered a top priority. Accidents in the workplace are often unpredictable and erratic, however implementing proactive procedures rather than reactive measures make it easier to deal with the aftermath of an event. The differences between proactive measures and reactive measures may be the determining factor that decide whether or not a business or company recovers from the incident.
Proactive measures are preventive actions taken to decrease the likelihood of an incident occurring, these measures also set in place techniques or procedures meant to mitigate the damage caused by the workplace accident. Proactive measures anticipate accidents and are defined by level of preparation, these types of measures have many advantages. These measures cut down on response time, guarantee a uniform response from all employees, reduce the total number of injuries and workers’ compensation claims, and promote an environment of safety and security in the workplace.
A few of these preventive measures include:
- Monthly fire drills
- Drills to prepare for extreme weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes)
- Adequate employee training (jobs that require heavy lifting or operation of heavy machinery)
- Evacuation drills in the event an armed or dangerous individual enters the workplace
- Hazardous chemical and material safety
- Accident prevention and safety advocacy
In complete contrast, reactive measures are usually spontaneous actions that respond to an accident. Often, these reactions are usually not the preferred method of dealing with said incident. When accidents occur, chaos ensues which opens up the door to panic and poor decision making. If employees are well trained and equipped with the confidence and knowledge to deal with mishaps in the workplace the severity of the situation may not call for extreme damage control. There have been many circumstances where minor incidents that could have been easily avoided or handled destroy entire businesses, simply due to the absence of preventive measures. At first glance, it may seem that proactive measures are time consuming and costly, but a simple cost-benefit analysis will show that preparing for mishaps now will soften the blow to the business if an accident does occur. Many employees find safety training to be dull and a complete waste of time and energy, but there are ways for employers to engage employees in safety compliance and training. Offering compensation or providing lunch, snacks or other attractive incentives to employees who attend/complete safety training are a few ways to encourage safety and compliance training among employees.
Workplace accidents are unavoidable, however adopting proactive procedures may ease the burdens associated with the damage control post workplace incident. For legal advice on how to deal with the repercussions of reactive measures, email or call Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP at 512-593-7650 today.