A board-certified physician in occupational medicine, Dr. Melissa Tonn holds an academic appoinment in the department of population health at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Dr. Melissa Tonn also serves as the chief medical officer of OccM.D. Group P.A. in Dallas, where she provides management solutions for employers who have opted out of workers’ compensation. Below are four steps employers can take to reduce occupational and workplace injuries.
1. Implement an accident prevention and wellness program. An effective program establishes clear safety guidelines specific to your company’s environment and addresses safety protocols for all levels of employees. It also offers employees instructions on how to respond to and report potential hazards in the workplace.
2. Conduct safety training. Regular safety training helps to ingrain protocols and facilitates a culture of safety awareness. You can also use safety training to teach employees about body mechanics and techniques for reducing strain injuries.
3. Offer protective equipment. Ensure access to standardized protective equipment, especially for employees who work in labor-intensive or otherwise hazardous environments. Take the time to educate employees in the proper use of each piece of equipment, and strictly enforce rules that require its use.
4. Create a safe work environment. Slips, trips, and falls are the leading cause of workplace accidents and account for 15 percent of all workplace accidental deaths. You can significantly reduce their occurrence by maintaining a safe work environment. This includes keeping hallways clear of obstacles, providing adequate lighting in work areas, and attending to wet or slippery floors immediately.
An experienced physician, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, specializes in musculoskeletal disorders, workers’ compensation and disability cases, and chronic regional pain syndrome.