Worried about the safety of your business and its employees? Check out this guide on how to improve business and workplace safety.
How safe are your employees?
Workplace injuries are common, with 2.8 million people injured in on the job each year. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Most workplace injuries are avoidable through planning and training.
Read on for our guide on how to improve business and workplace safety.
Carry Out a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)
Whatever your business, you need to know the on-the-job risks. This is where job hazard analysis will help. When you’re looking to put in place a workplace safety protocol, this should be your first step.
This isn’t only a document, it’s an entire process. Writing down all known risks associated with your workers’ tasks lets you work out how to reduce them.
You should end up with a JHA document. Focus on the relationships between workers, the tools, the tasks, and their environment. This JHA document should list potential hazards. It also needs to include the training your staff needs to manage these hazards and keep safe.
To start, list every job and duty in your workplace. Then, write down the hazards staff could face for each one. This starts you off with an itemized list to work from. You’ll be able to work out what training to provide a lot clearer.
Conduct Safety Surveys
Before you can do anything, find out your employees’ knowledge of existing guidelines. As well as any expectations of them. Do they know the corporate procedures and policies? Do they know their own safety responsibilities?
A survey lets you know how well your staff understands the safety procedures. It also lets you know their perspective and any areas they feel need updating/clarifying.
Encourage Open Discussion of Concerns About Unsafe Conditions
Encourage your staff to be open about conditions they feel are unsafe. What do they think may lead to harm or injury. Where could you improve? What are the hazards they see in their work environment and tools?
Your staff are the best people to discuss this with as they’re working in those conditions daily. Proactive staff who bring up safety concerns will help you spot issues sooner. You can rectify them before serious harm occurs.
It helps you design a safety procedure that suits your staff and works around their needs. Prevention, as they say, is always better than a cure.
Make Sure Staff Know Their Environment
Make sure employees are aware of the important places within the building. During recruitment and selection, it’s an idea to have a surroundings awareness course.
As the employer, you must make sure exits and entrances are easy to access. Place clear signs where they need to that are easy to see. This way staff know where to go in emergencies.
During a panic, people may not think straight. Clear instructions and an ingrained safety procedure help keep people calm. It could be the key to preventing a situation from getting even more dangerous.
Wear the Right Protective Gear
Provide each work station with the right protective gear for your workers using it. Earplugs, helmets, gloves, masks, whatever your workers’ need for that task, provide it.
Make sure your workers having the training to know what they need to wear and why. It’s important they wear the right protective gear at all times. Correct usage reduces accidents and the severity of those that do occur.
Make sure staff remain serious and don’t joke around with safety equipment. Employee safety is no laughing matter, so make it clear it’s non-negotiable.
Ensure Employees are Taking Their Breaks
Many workplace accidents occur when staff get tired or stop paying attention. The best way to prevent accidents is to make sure staff remain focused, energized, and rested.
Make sure your staff are taking their breaks when they should. This is even more key where the work is labor-intensive. Skipping breaks might be good for productivity. But inattention and tiredness could have a greater cost. It could even cost a life.
With a lot of the US workforce moving from factory to office, “microbreaks” have become popular. It can work in offices and shop floors to mitigate concentration issues.
The idea is microbreaks allow workers to take brief, more frequent breaks. This helps keep their minds more focused and refreshed. It’s especially useful for repetitive tasks where boredom may set in. It’ll help stop the mind drifting and keep workers paying attention when they should.
Lower Workplace Stress
Conflicts and working too much are the biggest stress factors within the workplace. You might not think it’s your job, but you should help cater for staff social and personal needs. This is the biggest way to reduce stress in the workplace.
Use conflict resolution and management skills to resolve any tensions between staff members. Do this as soon as possible to reduce the chances of further conflict.
Make sure staff are always alert and sober. Especially if they need to operate any machinery. Encourage team building and use motivation incentives. Workers that enjoy their workplace are more engaged and productive. Better engagement means better safety. This applies to white-collar workers as well. Even your developers will be less likely to be injured if they receive leading SAFe training.
Conduct Ongoing Safety Training
Safety training for staff is vital. But so is backing it up and creating a culture that values workplace safety. Employees with a strong knowledge of the safety guidelines will be quick to pick up on any issues.
They’ll know what to look out for and what to do in the event of an accident straight away. This can reduce the number of injuries in the first place. It’ll also help reduce productivity losses and dips in morale an accident can cause.
If that’s not enough, here are some more benefits to safer, more engaged employees:
- Reduction in worker’s compensation and medical expenses
- Better safety from repeatable, clear processes that identify hazards and threats
- Stronger employer trust from staff
- Stronger branding and reputation outside the company
Keeping on Top of Your Business and Workplace Safety
As you can see, the key to business and workplace safety is being prepared. Look for potential hazards, mitigate them, and train your employees to be alert to them.
Remember, overworked, overstressed employees are more likely to make mistakes. So, you should allow your team regular breaks, and boost morale where you can.
If you found this article useful, be sure to check out our other blog posts.