8

Risk and Vulnerability Assessments

8.1 Risk Management

8.1.1 General

What constitutes a work-related injury? Any illness or injury incurred in the course of employment. This includes industrial accidents, of course, but the injury need not result from one specific event. Repetitive stress injuries, such as back strain or carpal tunnel syndrome, are legitimate worker injuries.

In order to reduce accidents it is important to both identify and prevent accidents at the start, but also to immediately report incidents and to learn from them.

Men are more likely to be hurt on the job than women, filing two thirds of “lost time” claims. Men are also more susceptible to traumatic and permanent injuries. Women, by contrast, are more likely to file mental stress and cumulative-injury claims.

Fueled by statistics like these, on-site safety training or safety-management sessions with managers and employees should be viewed as critical. Companies might promote this as a bonus policy feature, and if you’re a small company with few safety-management resources, this can be a huge help in reducing injuries and increasing efficiency. From a practical standpoint, companies may view this as loss-control services. If you’re a smaller employer, chances are you don’t maintain an internal risk management department. There are, however, many independent risk managers and safety consultants who can work with you to implement safety policies—good accident-reporting practices, safety training for employees, ...

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