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.