The fact that self storage facilities aren’t typically considered dangerous workplaces doesn’t mean operators can be casual about workplace safety. According to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of over 3 million private industry nonfatal reportable injuries and illnesses in 2013:
- 917,100 involved days away from work
- 327,060 involved sprains, strains and tears
- 170,450 involved injuries to the back
- 229,190 involved falls, slips and trips.
Though employees are the primary victims of poor workplace safety standards, self storage facilities also pay the price. In addition to direct costs associated with workplace injuries, self storage facilities may also incur a variety of indirect costs, such as:
- Wages paid to absent injured workers;
- Wages lost during work stoppages;
- Administrative time spent by supervisors following injuries;
- Costs to train replacement employees;
- Lost productivity and opportunity costs;
- Replacement costs of damaged material, machinery and property; and
- Higher workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Self storage facilities can avoid or at least limit these costs by making workplace safety a priority. The Insurance Information Institute suggests taking the following steps:
Engage Management and Employees. Workplaces are safer when management and employees collaborate. Though specific employees should be in charge of safety programs, everyone should be responsible for workplace safety.
Evaluate Workplace and Operations. Perform a comprehensive evaluation of the entire operation, including equipment and all workplace activities, to identify all hazards. Talk to employees about their safety concerns.
Mitigate Hazards. Identified hazards must be eliminated or controlled. This may require implementing new safety measures, changing workplace operations or repairing/replacing equipment.
Training. Employees should receive training about workplace hazards and safety. Training should be part of the onboarding process. Refresher training should be provided on a regular basis and as needed.
Review, Respond and Improve. Maintaining a safe workplace is an ongoing process. Safety programs must be reviewed regularly. Safety incidents should be used as an opportunity for improvement. Employees should be reminded of their obligation to report hazards and incidents so they can be addressed.
Creating and maintaining a safe workplace requires commitment and vigilance. Despite the extra effort and expense, self storage facilities are sure to benefit from an effective workplace safety program. For example, maintaining a safe workplace is the best way to control workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk’s Self-Storage Insurance Program and Risk Management Group work closely with self-storage facilities throughout Florida and nationwide to profile risks, compare coverage options, and match our clients with an insurance program that meets their needs.
If you have any questions or would like discuss how our programs can help your organization, please contact us