By Bill Tricarico
Senior Risk Management Consultant
McNeil & Company, Inc.
Most businesses strive for a safe work environment. We’ve previously covered the known and hidden expenses incurred when an employee is injured on the job which can be quite high. But what about when a worker is injured off the job at the place they spend most of their time…their home.
According to a recent CNN study, accidents at home account for 77% of all accident related injuries. The Centers for Disease Control indicates that home accidents are the cause of 20,000 deaths, 7 million disabling injuries, and 20 million hospital trips in the United States every year with falls being the major cause. And injuries at home relate to absenteeism at work. While your main concern is certainly with your employee’s health, their inability to perform their jobs could end up costing your business a considerable sum. Losing a good employee for a period of time could mean increased training, overtime expenses, delayed completion of orders, and so many other outlays associated with the hidden costs of a work related accident. A worker falling down the steps of their home could be just as devastating to your business as if they dropped a heavy box on their leg at work.
As a result, the topic of home accidents should definitely be addressed in your overall safety program. Spend some training time reviewing national statistics related to home accidents and means to prevent them in the future. Some ideas to prevent falls can be:
- Remove clutter from floor surfaces and keep them clean
- Use non-skid throw rugs
- Make certain all stairway handrails are properly installed
- Keep areas well lit
A recent Internet search for “Home Safety Checklists” led to dozens of free downloadable checklists which contain valuable information and can be shared with your employees. Other places to find both great and valid information on home safety is the National Safety Council, www.nsc.org or The Centers for Dis-ease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov.
Remember, Home Sweet Home, could be a dangerous place and that not only en-dangers your employees but also can reach all the way to your bottom line.