Workplace safety is one of the most important things for a business to be stable and functional. It’s also critical in keeping a company operating successfully and maintaining the number of accidents and injuries at a minimum.
Dangers always exist, and accidents are possible wherever and whenever, and that is why it is important to take some preventive measures, especially when it comes to routine tasks and activities. These tips are designed to help you keep your employees safe, to predict safety risks and unsafe behavior, and raise general awareness of proper safety standards on all levels of business operations.
1. Involve Employees in Planning Safety
Your employees are your best source of information. They are on the ground, working in their specific areas or departments, so they will know which aspects need improving. By including them in your safety planning, together you can come up with the best plan for everyone.
You can set up a plan and present your employees with the standards that need to be adhered to, and possibly determine the most vulnerable aspects. They can, on the other hand, help you come up with the most practical and feasible solutions on how to implement all of that in their own specific areas of work and activities.
When employees are involved and have certain responsibilities in implementing safety initiatives, they are more likely to take action and encourage others to do so as well.
2. Provide Written Training Instructions
You should always be precise and methodical with safety instructions, and the best way to do it is to have everything in writing. When there is a written trace of certain rules, regulations, standards, and recommendations, your employees always have something they can turn to, read and refresh their memory.
Make sure everything is clearly outlined and written in the right order if certain steps need to be followed. This way it is easier to put the instructions into practice. Check with the employees every once in a while to make sure that they understand what they are required to do, especially when doing it for the first time.
3. Detect Most Likely Issues
When coming up with a plan, you should focus your attention on the most likely issues, i.e., accidents and safety violations that happen most frequently. This way you can develop a specific plan that will target specific issues that cause the highest number of accidents and injuries. Those are usually falling, slipping or tripping which are most common in outside working environments such as construction or roofing. They may seem minor, but they can amount to a significant number and cause some serious injuries.
Preparedness for greater accidents, disasters or emergencies is also a very important aspect, and you should always have a plan for those situations. But, they occur very rarely so try to focus on daily events and immediate safety improvements.
4. Keep Your Work Area Safe
This goes a long way toward preventing potential injuries and accidents. Make sure your workplace is clean and without clutter, and that your employees keep it that way. Get rid of any unnecessary things lying around, especially if they are always in the way.
Take care of the leaks or spills that can cause someone to slip and fall, as well as cords, carpets and similar things that can present a tripping hazard. These and other similar smaller but significant things can help greatly towards minimizing safety risks and incidents.
5. Encourage Employees to Bring New Safety Ideas
Encouraging employees to have a say in implementing new safety practices will increase their readiness to put them into action. Safety issues are not just the employer’s or management’s responsibility but a collective one. And it is through collaborative practices that the highest safety standards can be achieved.
Make sure you emphasize that, and that your employees are aware of it. Encourage them to approach with both concerns and new safety ideas.
6. Review Employee Performance
Performance reviews are beneficial to both the employers and the employees. Employers get a clearer picture of who is taking some shortcuts, not following the rules completely, or not performing very well. This way the employer can intervene adequately, and with proper feedback, employees can better understand where they lack so that they can improve themselves.
7. Maintain Machinery and Keep it Safe
Maintaining your machines and systems regularly and keeping them functioning properly is an essential safety routine. Make sure that everything is operational and functional by creating a maintenance program. Always keep instructions on how to operate them clearly displayed. This will prevent any malfunctions and errors and with it potential accidents and employee injuries.
8. Invest in Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a requirement in many workplaces. Depending on the nature of the job, there are different rules and regulations on the level of protection and the amount of equipment an employee must have.
Even when it comes to one workplace, a business or a company, there are different areas of work that demand different levels of protection. That is why it is important to invest in adequate PPE for every specific area and employee. This is not something you want to save money on – quality is important here. Additionally, if protective clothing or footwear are in question, it is important that everyone has the correct size.
9. Provide Employees with Safety Training
Safety training is an essential and indispensable part of improving workplace safety, as well as a part of the OSHA, DOT and EPA regulations. Depending on the nature of your workplace, and the specific needs and issues of your employees, you can organize different kinds of training – online, on-site, customized, etc.
The practice has shown that employees react best to hands-on or demonstrative type of programs, rather than lectures and presentations. This way they can actively participate, and not just listen passively.
10. Update Safety Guidelines on Time
It is recommended to have a comprehensive general assessment every year. From the machinery to the employees, be thorough and check if everything and everyone is functioning as it should. Check if any parts of the equipment are out-of-date if there are any new general safety guidelines or updated regulations and introduce any required changes on time. Reassess your employees’ performances so that you can start your year safe and ready.
Ensuring a safe and functioning workplace environment is an important part of any business. If you follow these workplace safety tips and put in significant efforts in improving and maintaining proper levels of safety, both you and your employees will be more efficient and satisfied. Involving your employees in these efforts and encouraging them to actively participate in safety programs with their own ideas and issues is an important part of the process and can only prove beneficial.