Safety in the workplace is an essential factor that organizational leaders must address comprehensively. Implementing workplace security policies should make sense and come naturally. People want to feel safe, and they like to see that the company is doing something to guarantee them security against the physical harm and emotional abuse that one may experience in different industries.
Business leaders should take a leading role in formulating and implementing feasible security strategies that will protect their most valuable assets in the company: human capital. If you want to avoid incidents and accidents in your workplace, read on.
One of the best strategies that business leaders can use to ensure workplace safety is by training their employees on how to correctly handle various situations and processes in their workspace. There is a notion that experts working in multiple departments are smart enough to do everything without mistake, but this has consistently proven not to be true. Without proper training, employees may demonstrate reckless behavior or develop dangerously casual habits. For example, if your company handles chemicals or heavy machinery, all employees should be trained on how to act safely around these things and what to do when something goes wrong.
Provide Safety Gear
Depending on your industry and product, your work environment may include chemical spills, poisonous gases, and sharp objects on the floor. Getting injured or receiving an electrical shock or burn is only one misstep away. To help your employees feel safe and maintain production at peak capacity, it is necessary that you provide them with the essential safety equipment. Examples of common safety equipment include overalls, gas masks, gloves, safety boots, hard hats, eye protection, etc. What your employees need depends on the type of work and what they are handling. Make an effort of wearing the safety gear yourself so that you set a good example. Safety gear is going to be one of the most important things to provide your employees, and is going to help you lessen the risk of your employees getting hurt, or even worse. A wrongful death suit can be filed if the lack of safety during an accident was your fault.
Post Safety Advisories
Given that your workers are engaged in multiple duties during the day, there is a possibility that they may forget to take precautionary measures from time to time. To avoid injuries, make sure you post safety signs where appropriate to provide a quick reminder of what they are supposed to be doing to keep themselves and others safe. For example, you can have safety posts such as “wear your helmet here” or “beware of standing water” so that your employees can understand the risks and respond appropriately.
Clean Your Workplace
Another strategy that you need to put in place to enhance safety is keeping the workplace clean. This involves removing all the sharp and blunt objects on the floor, promptly cleaning up spills, and performing preventative maintenance. Remove all materials that remain behind after cutting metals and wood to prevent injury. Additionally, strong chemicals that spill should be neutralized and washed with an appropriate agent to avoid corrosion. A clean workplace will also help prevent your employees from falling ill due to fumes or breaking a bone from a slip and fall accident.
Designate Emergency Exits
Even though we try our best, sometimes there’s an emergency. Maybe a fire broke out because a flammable chemical spilled or a machine malfunctioned. This could lead to injuries as workers try to run for safety, and possibly death if they become trapped. To avoid such a scenario, hold a training to designate emergency exits and outline escape routes so that every person can understand what to do in case of an emergency. Emergency exits should be labeled in a language that every person can understand. If you have a multilingual workplace, pictures on the signs will be beneficial. Emphasize the importance of moving in single file and assembling outside the building for roll call. You can implement these procedures by holding practice drills at regular intervals.
Create Awareness about Harassment
Safety isn’t just about physical safety. As a business leader, it is your responsibility to look after the mental and emotional welfare of your employees. Like physical safety, the first step is training — creating awareness about what constitutes harassment and what should be done in these scenarios. Senior employees may harass juniors by forcing them to handle extra tasks. Without harassment training, junior employees may feel that they have no option but to comply without reporting, for fear of punishment from their seniors. These type of harassment and sexual harassment should be addressed through an official channel so that the leader can take appropriate action to resolve the matter.
When you prioritize workplace safety, you help your employees feel more valued and give their families peace of mind. Safe employees are healthy employees, and they will be more efficient as they go about their daily duties. Furthermore, when you have a safe workplace, you are less likely to have to spending money on treatment for injured workers or handling workers compensation lawsuits.
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