When you take steps to make your workplace safer for your employee and anyone else involved, you demonstrate value for their welfare. However, it isn’t always an easy thing to do if health and safety have been neglected, and continuous improvement is a strict requirement.
Train Employees to Spot Hazardous Materials
As a busy employer, you may not always be there on the ground with the troops, as it were. Your staff is the one who interacts the most with your site. So they are the ones who are in the position to spot safety issues. Therefore, you should provide training to spot hazards. For example, you could provide specialist training to detect asbestos when tearing down an old building. Otherwise, you will have a mesothelioma lawyer coming to collect on their behalf.
Make Your Workplace Safer with a Healthy Culture
As a responsible employer, it is great if you already have safety guidelines in place. No matter how safe you are, there is always something you can do better. You can start by making the workplace a safe place to be. To do this, you need to keep talking to your employees about safety and keep the lines of communication open. The first step is to give them health and safety guidance and training so they can come to you to highlight any concerns they have.
Provide Adequate Safety Training
In the US alone, more than 5,000 people die at work every year. So, to make things safer, employees need to get thorough training on safety rules. Some of the most important areas of training are first aid on the job site, how to use heavy machinery, fire safety, and being ready for an emergency. Also, all employees should have access to the necessary training materials. And before taking on a new role, every new employee should get any training they need.
Use Universal Symbols and Signs
Putting up signs about safety is a great way to make things safer. Most signs and symbols for safety issues are universal, which is a good thing. But you can’t use them well if you don’t know how. So, once you’ve found all the possible safety risks, choose someone to put up the needed signs. Labels and symbols are a good way to warn people about possible dangers. But some of them are written. So make sure that everyone can read what they say, such as foreign workers.
Have a System to Improve On-Site Safety
You can give as much training as you want and put up as many safety signs as you want. But none of that matters if you don’t take action. And when it comes to workplace safety, this means constantly evaluating yourself through internal systems and making it easier for your staff:
- Make employees aware of what danger looks like in your industry.
- Make it easy for workers to talk about and report problems.
- Set up a safety officer or department on-site to deal with safety issues.
- Set up internal KPIs for safety standards that can be used to measure progress.
- Always take care of safety systems in the workplace, like alarms.
- Keep up with the laws in your country about health and safety that you must follow.
- Set up a good culture at work where people look out for each other.
Every workplace is different. So your workers should at least know what to look for. From there, it should be as easy as possible to let the right department or even an app know about safety concerns. From there, the right things should be done right away, with ongoing assessment.
Have Employees Tidy Their Workspace
Accidents can happen anywhere, from the cleanest high-rise office to the dirtiest construction site, if the place of work is messy. Make sure that personal items are put away safely and that things like spillages are sanitized quickly and clearly labeled. Do regular checks to look for potential dangers like loose cables, sticky floors, and tools that are stored in unsafe ways. Workplace safety also extends to things like clutter in the office that could cause accidents.
Hold Health and Safety Meetings
When everyone is on the same page, there are a lot fewer problems at work. So, having regular meetings to go over safety rules and talk about how to avoid accidents helps your employees keep safety at the top of their minds. When you do this, everyone will know right away what to do if something goes wrong. Obviously, this is very helpful in case of something unexpected, like a fire, earthquake, or other natural disasters. But also accidental injuries from negligence.
Hire Professional Help to Make Your Workplace Safer
You can also have a professional look at the safety of your business to make sure you haven’t missed anything. These trained experts, who are called “workplace occupational clinicians,” will work with you to find potential safety risks and ways to fix them. You can also use their solutions to fix problems like RSI that are caused by desks and chairs that aren’t set up well. This helps make sure that as few injuries as possible happen when hiring people for more physical jobs.
Lead by Example
As a business leader or owner, you are in a unique position to set the example you want to see. If you talk about safety but don’t act safely yourself, your site or office won’t be safe. For example, not wearing PPE when COVID levels are high. In short, you need to show your workers that you care about their safety. As a leader, if you show that safety is important by setting a good example and following the rules, your employees will also see the value in safety.
The health and safety of your employees are your responsibility as an employer. Therefore, you must go to great lengths to actively make your workplace safer for everyone there. Hazard training is a good start. But you must also have a reporting system and be a safety example.