How To Help The “Accident Prone” Worker

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If you look back over your record keeping, is there someone in your business who’s always reporting injuries? With evidence such as this, you may start thinking this particular employee is just “accident prone” and nothing can be done to help them. Before jumping to conclusions on this issue, we suggest taking a good look at the work environment where your employee spends their day. There could be an important safety factor at play causing all of their accidents. When addressing employees with multiple workplace accidents, take the time to examine these two points:
  • Task Factors – Sometimes an employee’s workspace or original job training is the culprit behind repeat accidents. To see if this is the case, read over both the job description and the training manual again to see if there is anything that might sound like it could lead to multiple accidents. We also suggest examining the work station for dangerous layouts or injury prone areas. Checking the climate, lighting, and risk exposure of the area is essential as well.
  • Organizational Factors – Ensuring that employees understand your business’ proper safety guidelines and have adequate access to safety equipment is paramount in reducing recurrent injuries. To help make sure this is the case, you should consider if you’re presenting  safety information in an easy to understand format during training experiences. You should also consider if the trainings are appropriate for the task your employee is performing. Finally, be sure to  regularly check that any  provided safety equipment (such as absorbent products, safety goggles, and work gloves) is in good condition.
In addition to taking internal steps to evaluate and address task and organizational factors, it’s important to take the time to sit down with your employee and get their side of the story. We recommend breaking this process down into two key steps:  
  • Observe The Situation – Take the time out of your day to sit with your employee while they work. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can experience the work environment yourself. Can you properly see the work station in front of them? What is the condition of the safety equipment that your employee is using? All of this can be examined by watching your worker perform their tasks.
  • Listen To Concerns – It’s important not to dismiss the concerns of your employees. If they are coming to you with something they think is impacting their safety, be ready to listen and take notes. Rather than brushing off their notions, work together to discover how you can improve their work environment or make safety trainings more understandable.
In the end, the “accident prone” employee who always seems to be injuring himself at work could have a deeper underlying problem. By actively observing and listening to their concerns, you may be able to uncover a safety issue as the base of their behavior.