Protecting workers is a top concern for small businesses, according to a survey commissioned by the insurance group Employers Holdings Inc.
In the survey of 502 small-business owners, 35 percent of the respondents indicated that they are more concerned about workplace safety than any other major business risk. Workplace safety was the No. 1 answer, followed by professional liability (26 percent) and cybersecurity (25 percent).
When asked to identify the area in which they plan to dedicate most of their attention this year, 35 percent of the respondents pointed to workplace safety, making it the No. 1 answer for that question as well.
“Small-business owners realize they have to protect their most valuable assets: their employees,” Employers COO Stephen Festa said. “Employee injuries can carry a significant cost, not only in terms of medical and workers’ compensation expenses, but also in terms of lost productivity and potentially lower workplace morale.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips and falls account for nearly one-fourth of all nonfatal workplace injuries that occur in the private sector. When asked to identify the workplace hazard for which they are most prepared, 21 percent of small-business pointed to slips, trips and falls, making it the No. 1 answer for that question.
Other common causes of workplace injuries that small-business owners said they are prepared to handle include motor vehicle accidents (12 percent) and employees coming into harmful contact with objects and equipment (12 percent).
“We wanted to see how prepared small-business owners believe they are for the types of injuries that are most common in the workplace, or if they were placing too much emphasis on events that are unlikely to occur,” Festa said. “We were relieved to find that the most common type of injuries – slips, trips and falls – was cited most often. However, we were surprised that almost four out of five small business owners did not claim to be most prepared for them.”