Sent to us by Maree Kyle
Workplace safety is a major concern for employees and management alike. While workers themselves have obvious reasons to be cautious and safe, business owners need to do their part in creating a safe environment to reduce their liability and the potential insurance costs that rise as workplace incidents become more likely. A number of practices need to be implemented if businesses are serious about creating a safer environment. While fiscally minded professionals may be eager to cut costs by skipping steps on some of these safety measures, preventative spending is often much more affordable than the costs incurred when an injury occurs. Here are some steps every business can take to identify points of concern and minimize risks for everyone, saving money while ensuring the well-being of the company’s employees.
1. Conduct a job hazard analysis
The best way to identify potentially unseen or underestimated risks in the workplace is to perform a job hazard analysis. Identifying uncontrolled hazards is the easiest way to prevent serious accidents in the workplace and, more importantly, accidents that wouldn’t be otherwise recognized. This analysis solicits the insight of employees who have likely observed their own safety risks. Employees can also be instrumental in developing solutions to these hazards. The company can then outline procedures to address these risks, eliminating potential accidents and possibly saving lives.
2. Incorporate safety training
Better training can often lead to fewer accidents in the workplace. Make sure your employees are properly trained on whatever equipment or tools they use. Likewise, be sure to familiarize all employees with the hazards and appropriate safety measures of their work environments. You might also want to incorporate on-site training to make sure emergency procedures are understood by everyone.
3. Inspect safety equipment regularly
Fire alarms, extinguishers, chemical showers and safety gear needs to be checked periodically to make sure it is still functioning properly. Set up a schedule in your workplace to make sure these devices have been maintained properly and are in working order in the event of an accident. Similarly, post proper signage throughout the workspace to keep workers, management and visitors mindful of hazardous areas.
4. Perform random safety inspections
Once your staff has been properly trained, implement randomized safety inspections to make sure proper procedures are being followed. Install a procedure for handling safety protocol lapses, including additional training and reprimands for failing to comply with workplace rules.
5. Make sure management is on board
Of course, instituting these various measures will have limited effect if management doesn’t understand their importance. Make sure you have the right management professionals in place to support these efforts and make sure they are properly incorporated into the work environment. It may be necessary to provide some training to management themselves to make sure they understand the importance of following safety protocols.
Unfortunately for many workplaces, a common cause of worksite injuries isn’t necessarily a lack of safety guidelines, but a refusal to follow them. This risk underscores the importance of educating employees about the potential consequences, as well as implementing disciplinary procedures to make sure the rules are followed at all times. It only takes one broken or ignored rule to lead to an injury, creating a dangerous situation for workers and management. It takes effort from all sides to create meaningful change in the workplace.
The proper working safety equipment is imp0rtant to provide safety for each worker, depending on the job and its’ particular hazards. Pat