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Things To Consider If You Want To Create A Safe Working Environment

It’s important to create a safe working environment for your employees, yourself, and your clients to achieve better results and business outcomes. So, you need to take some time to consider the safety of your workers, and put some measures in place to protect them from potential harm.

Some things you can do to make your workplace safer include: installing safety equipment, conducting safety training, and creating a safety plan.

Here is a detailed guide on how to create a safer working environment.

Start From Your Employees

Your employees are the core of your company and the powerhouse of your working environment. As such, employees need to feel appreciated, valued, and respected for them to work harder and smarter. If an employee feels unsafe or uncomfortable at work, it will show in their performance. Conversely, your employees should also make the environment safe. So, employees who are intoxicated at work, who have serious mental health issues and criminal backgrounds are far more likely to cause trouble. Because of this, conducting a 12 panel drug test on all of your employees from time to time and a background check for new employees should be a mandatory company policy.

This will help you avoid unnecessarily bad situations in the workplace and help you achieve better business outcomes.

Consider Your Employees’ Perspective

When you’re thinking about safety in the workplace, it’s important to start from your employees’ perspectives. What are their daily tasks? What do they need to do their job safely? What are the potential risks associated with their work? By understanding your employees’ work tasks and the potential risks involved, you can put measures in place to help them avoid injuries and accidents. For example, if you have office workers who sit at desks all day, they may be at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as carpal tunnel syndrome. To reduce the risk of MSDs, you can provide ergonomic furniture and equipment, and conduct regular stretching and exercise breaks.

If you have warehouse workers who lift heavy objects, you can provide them with proper lifting training and equipment to help prevent back injuries.

Understand The Occupational Safety And Health Act

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is a federal law that requires employers to provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment. OSHA covers a wide range of topics, including electrical safety, fall protection, hazardous materials, and more. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the OSHA standards that apply to your workplace so that you can ensure compliance. You can find more information on the OSHA website. Once you’ve reviewed the OSHA standards and assessed the risks in your workplace, you need to create a safety plan. Your safety plan should include procedures for dealing with emergencies, such as fires, evacuations, and medical emergencies. It should also include policies and procedures for preventing accidents and injuries, such as slips, trips, and falls.

Be sure to involve your employees in the creation of the safety plan so that they understand their roles and responsibilities. Additionally, make sure to review and update the safety plan regularly.

Conduct Safety Training

Safety training is essential to ensure that your employees are aware of the hazards in your workplace and know how to stay safe. Your safety training should cover topics such as fire safety, electrical safety, fall protection, and more. You can find more information on OSHA’s website.

  • Fire Safety: The best way to prevent a fire is to have proper fire safety procedures in place. Be sure to review your fire safety procedures with your employees regularly. Make sure everyone knows how to use the fire extinguishers in your workplace. Conduct regular fire drills so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.
  • Electrical Safety: Electrical hazards are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and accidents. Be sure to identify all of the electrical hazards in your workplace and put measures in place to eliminate or minimise them. Be sure to provide your employees with proper electrical safety training.
  • Fall Protection: Falls are one of the most common causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. If your employees work at heights, you need to have fall protection measures in place. Be sure to provide your employees with proper fall protection training.
  • Hazardous Materials: Hazardous materials are all around us, so it’s important to be aware of the potential risks they pose. Be sure to identify all of the hazardous materials in your workplace and put measures in place to control them. Be sure to provide your employees with proper training on how to safely work with hazardous materials.

Enforce Safety Policies And Procedures

Once you’ve created a safety plan and conducted safety training, you need to make sure that your employees follow the safety policies and procedures. Be sure to enforce the rules and take disciplinary action when necessary. Establish a culture of safety in your workplace by setting the example and leading by example, and by having a good HR team.

Make sure to also consider the psychological factors that can contribute to accidents and injuries, such as stress, fatigue, and boredom.

Talk About Mental Health

Mental health is an important part of overall health and safety. Be sure to create a safe and supportive environment in your workplace where employees feel comfortable talking about mental health. Provide employees with information on how to identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness and how to get help. You can find more information on the Mental Health America website. Mental health can significantly impact the working environment. However, an even bigger reason to consider mental health is that it affects business outcomes. So, make sure to listen to employee concerns and address them accordingly.

It’s important to create a safe and healthy workplace for your employees. There are many things you can do to make sure your workplace is safe, such as reviewing OSHA standards, creating a safety plan, conducting safety training, and enforcing safety policies and procedures. You should also talk about mental health in the workplace so that employees feel comfortable talking about it. By taking these steps, you can help create a safe and healthy workplace for your employees.

How Should Training A New Employee Look Like

When a new employee is hired, the company has to decide how to train them. There are different ways to do this, and the way that is chosen will depend on the company’s needs and the employee’s abilities.

HIPAA Training

When it comes to training a new employee, one of the most important things to remember is HIPAA Training. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a federal law that sets standards for the privacy and security of electronic health information.

All employees who have access to patient information must receive HIPAA training. Employees who work in billing, coding, customer service, insurance verification, and any other position that may come into contact with patient information, need to receive training in compliance with HIPAA rules and standards. Protecting the welfare of patients and combating fraud are the main thrusts of HIPAA that these employees must uphold.

With that in mind, the HIPAA training must cover the following topics:

  • What is HIPAA?
  • The Privacy Rule
  • The Security Rule
  • How to protect patient information
  • What to do if you suspect a breach has occurred

The HIPAA training must also be updated regularly to reflect any changes to the law.

State Laws

In addition to HIPAA, there may be state laws that apply to your business. State laws vary, but may include requirements for:

  • Training specific to the type of business
  • Training on particular topics, such as sexual harassment or workplace violence
  • Refresher training at certain intervals
  • Training for managers and supervisors

It is important to research the state laws that apply to your business and make sure that all employees are appropriately trained.

OSHA Training

Employees who work in certain industries may also need to receive OSHA training. OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a federal agency that sets safety standards for workplaces.

OSHA training may be required for employees in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and healthcare.

The OSHA training must cover the following topics:

  • The hazards of the job
  • How to protect themselves from those hazards
  • What to do if they are injured on the job

It is important to research the OSHA standards that apply to your business and make sure that all employees are appropriately trained.

On-the-job Training

The most common way to train a new employee is through on-the-job training. This type of training takes place while the new employee is working alongside an experienced employee. Oftentimes, this is the most effective way to train someone because they can learn from their mistakes and get more hands-on experience.

On-the-job training is more expensive for employers, but it can be more beneficial for employees. The employer has the opportunity to observe the employee’s work habits and performance. On-the-job training also allows the employer to train the employee in specific job duties.

When providing on-the-job training, employers should keep the following things in mind: 

  • The employee must be able to perform productive work.
  • The employee must be trained in specific job duties.
  • The employer must comply with the FLSA.
  • The employer should consider the amount of training required and the hours spent in training when determining an employee’s pay rate.

Off-the-job Training

Employers are not required to offer on-the-job training to new employees. However, if they choose to do so, the employer must comply with the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires that employees be paid for their time. The amount of training required and the hours spent in training are factors that should be considered when determining an employee’s pay rate.

Many employers provide off-the-job training. Off-the-job training is a great way for employers to train new employees. It is less expensive than on-the-job training, and it can be tailored to meet the needs of the business. Off-the-job training can include classes, seminars, or self-study materials.

Classroom Training

Another option for training a new employee is through classroom training. This type of training generally takes place in a formal setting, such as a conference room or lecture hall. The new employee will attend lectures and complete exercises that will help them learn the necessary skills for the job.

Online Training

When it comes to employee training, there are a variety of options available to employers. One option is online training, which provides a variety of learning experiences, from interactive videos to simulations. Online training also allows employers to track employee progress and provide feedback. With this type of training, the new employee will complete modules and exercises online, usually at their own pace. This type of training is often used for employees who need to learn specific software or processes.

Leadership Training

One of the most important aspects of training a new employee is leadership training. This type of training helps prepare employees for their new role within the company and teaches them how to be a leader, even if they are not in a management position. Leadership training can cover topics such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. It can also help employees learn how to motivate and manage a team.

Compliance Training

Another key part of employee training is compliance training. This type of training ensures that employees are aware of the company’s policies and procedures and understand their obligations under the law. Compliance training may cover topics such as anti-money laundering, data protection, and health and safety. It is important that all employees receive compliance training, not just those who work in specific areas of the business.

Product and System Training

In order to do their job effectively, new employees need to be trained on the company’s products and systems. This type of training can include instruction on how to use the company’s software, how to process orders, or how to handle customer queries. It is important that new employees are given enough time to learn about the company’s products and systems so that they can hit the ground running when they start work.

Orientation

For new employees, orientation is a key part of the onboarding process. The goal of orientation is to get the new employee up to speed on company policies and procedures, as well as their specific job duties. This orientation should include information about the company, its history, products, services, policies, and procedures. Orientation should also include training on safety and emergency procedures. Orientation should also include information on benefits and how to access them. It’s important to remember that orientation should be tailored to the individual employee – not everyone needs the same information.

Supervision

Employees need to be supervised in order to ensure they are following company policies and procedures, as well as performing their job duties correctly. Supervision can also help identify areas where additional training may be needed. Supervisors should provide feedback to employees, both positive and negative, in a constructive way. This can help employees improve their performance over time.

When it comes to training a new employee, it is important to remember that there are many different laws and regulations that may apply. Employees in certain industries may need to receive specific training on topics such as HIPAA, OSHA, or state law. Training a new employee can be a difficult task, but it is important for the company and the employee. It is imperative to research the requirements and make sure that all employees receive the appropriate training.

Massachusetts COVID Relief Coalition

A Coalition of law firms, non-profits and governmental agencies in Massachusetts has joined forces to help small businesses and non-profits in the greater Boston area access emergency loans and other sources of relief.

Duane Morris has joined the COVID Relief Coalition for Small Businesses and Non-profits, a Massachusetts coalition of law firms, non-profits and government agencies providing pro bono legal support, access to emergency loans and other sources of relief to small businesses and non-profits impacted the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duane Morris is a law firm headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1904 as Duane, Morris, Heckscher & Roberts, the firm has offices in the United States, London, Singapore, Vietnam, Oman, Myanmar, Shanghai, and Taiwan.

Massachusetts small businesses and non-profits can visit covidreliefcoalition.com for access to free legal support on pandemic-related issues including real estate, tax and contractual matters. They can also apply for emergency loans and other sources of relief.

Coalition members include the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, City of Boston, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston Bar Association, The Boston Foundation, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Lawyers for Civil Rights and Lawyers Clearinghouse. Additional law firm partners include Brown Rudnick, Dechert, Fish & Richardson, Foley Hoag, Foley & Lardner, Goodwin, Goulston & Storrs, Kirkland & Ellis, Mintz, Morgan Lewis, Nelson Mullins, Ropes & Gray and WilmerHale.

The Duane Morris COVID-19 Strategy Team is advising clients on all aspects of the legal issues and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic including contractual, employment, insurance and healthcare issues.

Attorneys are fielding inquiries and providing advice in a wide range of areas, including human resources, travel and transportation, immigration and border entry, hospital and healthcare operations, medical and pharmaceutical supply, FDA, food handling and preparation, OSHA, ADA compliance, data privacy, HIPAA, environmental and EPA, international transactions, shipping, supply chain and logistics, financial reporting, insurance liability, real estate issues, including landlord and tenant matters, and all types of contracts and quasi-contracts.