You hire new employees with the intent to maintain or increase your production and profitability, and not to increase your workplace injuries. Unfortunately, safety in the workplace is often overlooked on the new hire checklist. In fact, 40 percent of injured employees have been on the job less than one year (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). You can reduce your new hire risk and work comp expenses without increasing your business expenses.
Why are there so many injuries during the first year on the job?
There are lots of potential reasons, but some of the most common are that supervisors think new employees already have workplace safety knowledge or their previous experience accounts for any on-the-job learning curve. This way of thinking can be fatally flawed. For example, what if the new employee’s previous employer never did any formal safety training? Perhaps the new employee brings experience with them, but hasn’t worked in this field recently. Combine this with the fact that most new employees are afraid to ask questions, and it is a formula for workplace injuries.
Introducing new faces to your workplace can bring much needed help. But they can also bring increased costs if you’re not careful. In other words, safety training pays in more ways than one.
In 2014, Missouri Employers Mutual’s average new hire lost time claim costs were $54,000. Compare this cost with the Missouri average entry level salary of $24,392 for a roofer or $16,834 for a home health aide. If you think the financial cost of a new hire lost time claim seems devastating, imagine being a family member of one of the 24 new hires insured by MEM that didn’t make it home from their new job during the last five years.
Your business doesn’t have to make costly mistakes with your new hires. Three simple keys to new hire injury prevention can save lives and money.
- Hire right. Good hiring practices can eliminate many problems before they start.
- Identify hazards. Know the biggest causes of injury or potential injury for your industry and business.
- Train. Take the time to make sure all new hires have the training they need before they put themselves and other employees at risk on the job.
Keep your new hires on the job—productive and injury-free.