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If you are considering hiring a student or intern this summer, it’s important that as a employer you are hiring someone NOT familiar with the risks involved in the workplace. As a business owner it is your responsibility to provide workplace safety training. Even if they are temporary, these students or interns are eligible for the same workers’ compensation benefits as full-time employees if they get injured or ill on the job.
A recent poll cited in Property Casualty 360 said that 27% of small business owners said they do NOT offer workplace safety training for new students they employ. The same survey revealed that only 52% make training a requirement.
Here are some tips to help ensure your business is safe from workers’ compensation claims this summer
1. Document and identify potential hazards. By establishing and documenting simple safety procedures (such as rubber soled shoes be worn by employees in restaurants and warehouses to minimize slippage) employers can help prevent accidents.
2. Provide education and training. Once your illness and injury prevention program is in writing, hold a training session to identify potential hazards. Be sure to update it as new substances, processes, procedures or equipment are introduced to the workplace.
3. Enlist management & employee participation. Encourage your employees to provide feedback regarding the safety situation to help you evaluate and implement a strong safety program. Make sure management sets a good example for your employees.
4. Evaluate effectiveness. Update your manuals annually or more often as hazardous conditions appear or come to your attention.
By following these simple steps, you will be making your workplace safer for any new employees and even your existing employees and management who can always use a little reminder.