For small business owners, keeping employees safe at work is a major concern, according to a survey by EMPLOYERS, a specialty provider of workers’ compensation insurance and services.
The survey revealed that workplace safety risks were cited as the greatest worry for business owners, with 35% of survey respondents citing it as their primary concern. Other top concerns are professional liability risks (26%) and cyber security risks (25%).
“Small business owners realize they have to protect their most valuable assets—their employees,” said EMPLOYERS Chief Operating Officer Stephen V. Festa. “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.”
Workplace safety is also an issue that survey correspondents plan on spending the most time addressing in the coming year, according to survey results.
“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.”
Slips, trips and falls, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, account for nearly a quarter of all nonfatal workplace injuries and 15% of all fatal workplace injuries that occur in the private sector. 21% of small business employers feel as though they are prepared to handle slip, trip and fall accidents.
Other common injuries that small business owners are prepared to handle include motor vehicle accidents (12%) and employees coming into contact with harmful objects and equipment (12%). Small businesses are least prepared to address acts of violence (29%), and fires or explosions (17%).
Survey results were based on interviews of a representative sample of 502 small businesses with 100 employees or fewer. Find more details on EMPLOYERS’ website.