As a business owner, your sole responsibility is on keeping your employees safe. Investing in their health and wellbeing is vital. Whether you work in an office environment or construction site, numerous hazards could jeopardize your team’s safety.
To create a safe working environment for all, here is a guide on how to minimize the risk of workplace injuries.
Identify Potential Hazards
Each workplace is unique and will have different hazards you need to be aware of. For example, if you work in an office, things like loose cables on the floor or uneven carpet could increase the risk of a slip and fall. When employees head into work, the last thing you want to be dealing with is a slip and fall accident. To prevent this from occurring, it’s your job to identify causes for concern and make relevant changes swiftly. If you’re not sure what to look for, it’s wise to hire a professional third party who can perform risk assessments of your workplace.
Develop a Robust Safety Training Program
Developing a safety training program and making it mandatory for staff to attend is essential for reducing accidents and keeping everyone safe. These safety training programs are designed to keep employees in the know and what protocol and measures they must take daily to keep out of harm’s way. For example, if you operate in a manufacturing factory, your safety training program should cover the basics. These include how to use power tools properly and how to operate machinery. Your safety training program should factor in ergonomics too. If you’re wondering what ergonomics is, it’s the process of arranging or designing a workplace to fit the people who use them. Branch Furniture explains what is ergonomics further and how it’s essential for maintaining health and safety in the workplace. They sell specialist office chairs and furniture designed for comfort and to keep employees healthy.
Create a Safety Manual
While safety training programs are essential for employee health and wellbeing, it can be easy to forget important aspects of it once it’s over. Therefore, creating a safety manual will help reinforce all the guidelines you’ve set out in your training program. Make sure the safety manual includes instructions outlined in training and procedures for handling different kinds of equipment. Also, there should be a section on what steps to take should an accident occur. Your safety manual should be on hand at all times for employees to refer back to if they’re in any doubt.
Invest in Personal Protective Equipment
PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) is essentially a range of items employees wear that will protect them against various hazardous conditions. PPE is crucial as it provides extra protection and lowers the risk of workplace injuries. Should an employee not be wearing PPE, they’ll be at a higher risk of getting hurt. And should an accident take place and they’re not wearing safety attire, this could lead to a lawsuit and have catastrophic consequences for your business. If you work in the construction trade, PPE is a must. You should also teach employees how to properly use earplugs, gloves, earmuffs, and goggles.
Hold Regular Meetings
To operate a happy and healthy workplace, regular meetings are essential. Whether you bring the entire team together or have individual chats, use these opportunities to reinforce safety guidelines. You can test your employees on how much they have learned in the safety training program. If you find they haven’t retained much information, it’s advised to incorporate additional safety training programs. Encourage employees to offer feedback about the program too. This will be a big help if your staff need more clarification on certain topics.
Hire the Right Staff
Your staff is the backbone of your business. They’re the ones who keep the operation flowing and a success. Therefore, when it comes to health and safety and reducing the risk of workplace injuries, you must hire the right people for the job. It can be easy to pick the first candidate you see during the hiring process. But, if they haven’t got the necessary training and experience to do the job, this could compromise their safety. In addition to hiring employees, you need to make sure there is an adequate level of staff within the workplace. If you are understaffed, there is an increased risk of accidents in the workplace.
Monitor Safety Measures
Even if you’ve got an excellent safety training program in place and your manual covers the A-Z of workplace safety, businesses are evolving all the time. There is always something new to learn in business, especially regarding health and safety. It’s your responsibility to monitor safety measures continuously. If you have any issues, they can be rectified immediately.
Regardless of what type of business you run, the most minor of workplace accidents can have a catastrophic impact on your operation. Whether it’s because of workers’ medical bills, lost productivity, or handling compensation paperwork, to prevent accidents from happening, be sure to follow this guide.