9 Things That You Need To Do To Ensure That Your Employees Are Safe In Their Workplace
A safe workplace will keep both you and your employees happy and comfortable to come into work and perform to their optimal level. Employees feel much more at ease in a place where they feel their employer cares about their wellbeing and safety. They tend to be more loyal to their workplace and their employer as they feel appreciated and looked after. As an employer, you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to maintain a safe workplace.
On that note, here are 9 things you need to do to ensure your employees are safe at work.
Conduct a risk assessment to assess where any weak points may lie. A safety audit is key to creating a safe environment as you need to be aware of any issues before you lay down policies. Each workplace is different and may pose different risks. You want to ensure that the risk of accidents, emergency situations such as a fire or a criminal assault are all taken into account. A thorough understanding of any risks that exist is important to protect your employees going forward. This way you can create effective and relevant safety policies.
You may need to carry out risk assessments on a regular basis to ensure any new hazards or risks are picked up and factored into the current safety guidelines and protocols.
To create effective safety policies, ensure that every part of the business is involved and aware. Ensure that the policies are accessible and useful for everyone in the business. These safety policies must be regularly updated to cover any new practices or hazards. Safety regulations are a feature of most industries. New information about workplace dangers is often discovered which means that new regulations are written.
To keep everyone safe and your policies updated to ensure new regulations are made known.
Without sufficient training, your employees will be unable to perform their jobs effectively and safely. As part of your onboarding process, ensure that new employees receive mandatory training.
It is a good idea to keep refreshing this training once or twice a year. This is important to ensure that individuals do not put themselves in undue danger and are sufficiently informed to make safe decisions in the workplace.
It’s all well and good having safety policies and regulations in place. However, if your employees cannot easily access them, they’re pretty much useless. Make sure these important items are stored in a central place with easy access for all employees.
An effective and collaborative safety training and policies are great; however, you want to ensure that the lines of communication are open to everyone in the business. It is important that your employees know how to report any safety concerns and who they can speak to. Your employees must be able to feel like they can deliver constructive criticism or feedback and not be penalized for doing so. This contributes to a safer working environment as oftentimes your employees can spot things that can’t be seen from a high-level perspective.
Part of open communication is fostering trust between all levels of employees. Cultivating an environment of openness and trust is key to creating a safe and healthy working environment.
In the spirit of open communication and fostering a safe environment, designating a safety officer is a great idea. Some employees may be reluctant to share certain information with their line manager. A safety officer acts as a trusted mediator between employees and managers. Ensure that your safety officer is visible and connected to every employee in the business. This is important as it means that your employees can reach out to the safety officer in a timely fashion, which is important when it comes to matters of health and safety.
Ensure that all machinery and equipment is in good working order. You may want to fit safety guards in place as necessary. Regularly maintain and look after all machinery and equipment and make sure that only those who have the correct training are using them. An untrained individual using a piece of machinery can lead to disastrous consequences.
You must make sure that you are complying with the latest laws. This could mean reviewing and applying new legislation and amending working practices where necessary. These laws may vary from state to state. For instance, the California laws may differ from Florida, and some states update their laws more frequently. If you live in California, keep in mind that California sexual harassment training is now mandatory for businesses with five or more employees. Ensure that you are regularly updated with any laws coming into play that may affect how you conduct business.
It is important not to overwork your employees. With deadlines looming and a heavy workload, it can be hard not to want your employees to put in some overtime. However, overburdening them can lead to stress-related illness, physical health problems, or even just plain old tiredness. The more tired they are, the more prone they are to make mistakes. Despite the temptation, it is a better idea to ensure your employees are receiving enough rest time in order to perform their best at work.
As well as keeping your employees informed, it is important to recognize and appreciate those who carry out their jobs in accordance with the safety guidelines in place. This helps cultivate a positive safety culture and increases the chances of others doing the same. These behaviors will become part of your business’ culture.
Appreciating others goes a long way when you want everyone to be supportive and engaged with the safety plan. Sharing and praising your employees' successes when it comes to following the safety guidelines, enables others to feel more comfortable and at ease with partaking in this culture.
These 9 ways will help keep you and your employees safe. Investing in workplace safety is necessary as not doing so can have an impact on your brand and the talent you attract. This can tarnish your reputation and affect the work you do. Ensure you have structured and well-designed workplace safety guidelines in place.