HVAC business owners: Do you know what is the leading cause of on-site injuries? My initial thought was falling from attic ladders/steps or being struck by falling tools or objects. My 2 guesses came in 2nd and 4th for total cost of claims. The costliest employee injury per a Workers’ Compensation study done by Liberty Mutual is “manual material handling”. This would include seemingly simple, mundane tasks as lifting, pushing, pulling, lowering or twisting. The good news is that most these incidents can be avoided by proper training, being more careful and purchasing the proper equipment to get the job done safely. Below I’ve listed a few easy ways to keep work site injuries to a minimum.
- Arrange equipment in your shop to reduce carrying distance for larger objects to the truck.
- Modify trucks/vans so they can be loaded/unloaded easily.
- Use mechanical handling devices such as carts, pipe stand or pipe lifters.
- Train employees on safe lifting techniques.
- Use fall protection and platform ladders when possible.
- Keep work areas well-lit.
- Keep walkways clean of debris and mud.
I’d love to know if these results are surprising and other ideas you may have to make your work sites safer places for your employees. After all, this safety investment keeps money in your pocket as business owners.