4 Ways To Ensure Your Employee’s Safety At Work
We can’t stress employee safety enough.
If you compromise in any area, not only are you putting your employee’s lives in danger, but you are endangering the reputation of your business too. An accident, injury, or act of violence at work could result in a lawsuit, negative media attention, and a possible walkout of your employees. Worried? You should be, and that is why your employee’s safety has to be your number one priority.
To make life better for your employees then, concentrate on the following areas.
#1: Risk-assess your business
Some businesses have more inherent dangers than others, but you still need to commit to a risk assessment, no matter what type of industry you are involved in. You need to walk around your premises, perhaps with the aid of a risk assessment professional to identify possible hazards and work out potential risks. You then need to put control measures in place to mitigate each risk. As examples:
Those involved in the oil and gas industries should take steps to handle the dangerous substances they use within their pipelines. They should identify the dangers involved, such as exposure to a toxic chemical, and then take precautions. This might include purchasing the correct flowmeters from flowmeters.com and then installing them in areas where there is less risk of breakage and leakage.
Those involved in the construction industry should consider issues such as noise and heights, and provide the correct safety equipment to reduce the risk of hearing damage and physical injury on the building site.
Even those within office-based businesses should undergo risk assessments, checking everything from computer equipment to storage areas for any possible danger signs. Check here for more office hazards and risks.
Each business has its own unique hazards to consider, so research your business, use your common sense, and take action where necessary.
#2: Commit to training
Despite the time and expense involved in training, you really shouldn’t ignore this one essential aspect of your employee’s safety. The better equipped they are to do their jobs correctly, the safer they will be. On a basic level, every employee needs to be trained in some form of ‘health and safety at work’ programme, which will cover such things as safe usage of equipment and heavy lifting techniques. But you should also pay for any other training that is specific to your business to ensure the safety of your staff. And despite the further expense, you should also commit to refresher training, as well as training for staff who are new to your company. If any of your employees request further training, perhaps because they are unsure of certain procedures, you should also allow rather than refuse the request, despite the financial cost to you.
Many employees in any workplace will be so-called ‘digital natives’’, says David Rowland, the head of marketing at Engage EHS. ‘Therefore, your workplace strategies should reflect this’. As such, health and safety software could be the ideal choice for administering your health and safety needs, as it will resonate more with a large number of your employees.
#3: Encourage open communication
While you will be busy with the day to day running of your business, you should never be too busy to listen to your employees. Should they come to you with a safety issue, you should listen and take action as appropriate. We aren’t just talking about maintenance problems with equipment and repair issues around your premises, because an employee might come to with a personal safety issue too. This might include a threat of violence they have received from another staff member, or they may have noticed an act of aggression and bullying towards another employee. You need to take every concern seriously, getting on top of any workplace hazard as soon as possible, be that repairing a fault or dealing with a bullying employee. Your employees deserve to feel safe at work, so make sure you have an open communication policy that allows them that possibility.
#4: Make everybody accountable
Safety should be at the forefront of everybody’s mind, so you need to let each person within your company know what is expected of them. This includes the way your employees behave in your workplace, with a policy that stipulates unsafe behavior will not be tolerated. You should also enforce a rule that any potential hazard or act of dangerous behavior should be reported to you (or a supervising member of staff) as quickly as possible. Ultimately, you are accountable for your employee’s safety, but this doesn’t negate their accountability in the way they operate at work. Regular meetings are a must then, be they 1:1 or group meetings, especially when you have concerns.
How safe is your workplace?
Have you risk-assessed each part of your business? Are your employees fully trained for the jobs they have to do? Do they feel able to come to you with concerns? And have you enforced policies relating to their accountability? For their safety, as well as that of your business in general, you need to commit to each aspect. Safer employees are happy employees, and that will increase your bottom line when they reward you with greater productivity because of their high morale.
So, think on these things today, and then take any steps necessary if you have so far failed to do so.