Although safety in Minnesota manufacturing plants has improved, the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses is still high. Across the nation, it is estimated that approximately four out of every 100 plant workers are injured on the job contract an occupational disease every year. Manufacturing has the highest proportion of serious injuries of all industry sectors.

By taking steps to keep employees safe and reduce the number of injuries or illnesses, companies can reduce their financial risk and increase productivity. However, a workplace culture that prioritizes safety has to start with the bosses and supervisors. Bosses who prioritize safety over productivity may find that the number of workplace accidents could be reduced, saving on costly direct compensation benefits. Those that do not prioritize safety and focus on output may find that employees may focus more on production at the expense of their safety.

To help ensure that employees follow the safety measures that have been put into place, it is important to make the procedures easy to follow. The less time-consuming a safety measure is, the more likely an employee will follow it, especially if he or she is trying to remain as productive as possible. Bosses and supervisors should also continue to reinforce the safety expectations by evaluating workers on their adherence to the workplace’s safety standards.

In manufacturing plants that require employees to be around dangerous machinery, an on-the-job accident could result in a permanent disability that may prevent an injured victim from ever being able to work again. People who find themselves in this type of a situation may want to meet with a workers’ compensation attorney to see what benefits might be available.