February 14th is a special time to remind your loved ones, especially your sweetheart, that they are very special to you. It’s also a time to think about your employees, and the fact that they are special to you, as well. Without their hard work and cooperation, your business wouldn’t be successful. Let them know how much they are appreciated by providing the safest work environment possible. Here are some thoughts on how you can accomplish this goal:
- Be a fanatic about health and safety. Let this be a top priority in your workplace.
- Assign a safety committee with responsibility for conducting periodic safety audits, and be involved in it.
- Reward suggestions for improved health and safety measures.
- Post emergency phone numbers in prominent locations throughout the workplace.
- Distribute a safety and emergency procedures and instructions manual.
- Make workers aware through regularly scheduled safety campaigns and safety training programs.
- Make cleanliness a requirement.
- When you say that hard hats, head protection or other P.P.E. (personal protective equipment) are required on the work site, mean it!
- Safety evacuation drills should be conducted where appropriate.
- Frequent equipment inspections and safety checks should also be performed, and be relentless in practicing preventative maintenance.
- Insist all hazardous substances and materials be tightly sealed and properly stored.
- If workers think there is a risk or problem, listen to their concerns, because there probably is one.
- Local health department experts can be called in to evaluate conditions and recommend corrective steps if they discover a health hazard.
- Be sure your employees follow all OSHA guidelines, standards, and recommendations.
- Follow all provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- Follow manufacturer’s suggested safety procedures such as wearing safety goggles or installing guards on machinery. Ensure employees do not remove guards on machinery.
- Never encourage safety short-cuts, no matter how economical or profit-friendly they may be. Also, don’t tolerate grandstanding, showing off or other macho behavior that is unsafe. Being safety conscious isn’t being a sissy – it’s working smarter.
- Mark all hazardous zones and items.
- Monitor absenteeism due to illness or injury and review all accident reports and injury claims. Look for patterns which may be clues to existing hazards.
- Post safety posters throughout the workplace, and change them every now and then. Place them in break rooms, and other places where they are most visible.
As an employer, your liability increases dramatically whenever the person in charge does nothing about existing and potential problems. Handling hazards before illnesses, accidents or harmful allergic reactions occur is always a winning strategy. You know most of the hazards in your workplace. It is your responsibility to ensure your employees that you have trusted supervisors that know where the risks are, and that precautions have been taken to protect them. There are many businesses that have health and safety hazards that often go unnoticed and unattended. The result is countless work-hours lost each year due to injuries, illnesses and allergies. Some hazards are major health or safety risks; however others are troublesome, but not serious. All merit attention.
By showing your employees that you are sincerely concerned about their health and safety, they will reward you with hard work and loyalty. So, this Valentine’s Day, and every day, “show them a little love” by keeping them safe. This, and a “thank you for a job well done” is gift enough.