Below are the biggest exposures a Habitat affiliate faces with respect to workers getting hurt on the job.
- Lifting is the # 1 concern at ReStores – causing back, shoulder, knee, hip, etc. injuries
- Employees should be trained on proper lifting techniques (link to list)
- Utilize team lifts, or more than one person for heavier or awkward items
- Provide safety equipment such as back braces; and trucks, dollies, or carts to move larger items
- Only workers in good physical condition should be sent to pick up donations
- At jobsites, falls from heights (ladders, scaffolds, roofs) are a major risk
- Proper use of tools, such as nail guns or box cutters is very important, as we’ve seen a number of injuries due to improper training and use of tools, especially power tools.
- Slips & falls at both jobsites and ReStores are an issue – so always focus on safety and look for anything that poses an inherent danger such as a wet floor, clutter to trip over, etc.
Because a lot of affiliates have never had an employee accident at their affiliate or filed a workers’ compensation claim before, we’d like to provide some real-life claim examples to illustrate the types of things that can (and do) happen out in the field.
An employee fell at a jobsite while putting tresses on the house – broke his nose, cracked his sternum, and fractured his skull. The claim is estimated at over $400,000.
A ReStore employee was carrying an entertainment center to load in a truck when he felt severe pain to his lower back and hip. This claim is also estimated in excess of $400,000.
An employee was cleaning the office and lifted a 5 gallon paint bucket injuring her back. This claim paid out over $200,000.
An employee was moving a piece of furniture and twisted her left knee. The claim is estimated at almost $180,000.
An employee was lifting a glass top and pulled a muscle from his hip down to his right leg. This claim is estimated at over $150,000.
When an employee gets hurt, not only do you feel bad but you lose that employee’s time working, and will end up spending more on workers compensation insurance in the future. So, it is in everyone’s best interest to focus on safety and adopt good risk management techniques in order to reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries occurring to your employees.
Please note that if an employee is injured in an auto accident while driving in the course of their employment, injuries they sustain will be made against your work comp policy, not the auto or liability.