How safe is your workplace? Sadly, over 2.8 million workplace accidents and injuries occur each year in the US.
Slips, falls, back injuries, burns, and cuts are all commonplace on worksites and in offices. However, they can often be prevented, if your company creates a safe environment for the business.
Staff accidents cost your company money, slow down production, and reduce employee morale.
Why is workplace safety important, and how you improve it within your company? Keep reading to find out.
If you have clients, customers, or other external stakeholders coming into your workplace, then you need to keep them safe. Workplace safety also protects your company from lawsuits—if a customer is injured on your worksite, this can be a massive liability and a big expense.
Keep your workplace safe for costumes by making sure aisles and walkways are clear, walkways are even and clean, and that no dangerous equipment is left out where it could accidentally harm someone.
A workplace first-aid kit and a trained first-aid officer will ensure that you’re prepared in case anyone is injured in your business.
Give Staff a Safe Environment to Work In
You have a responsibility to your employees to provide a safe work environment. This is both physical, but it also means your workplace should be drug and alcohol-free.
If staff are working under the influence, they’re likely to make dangerous mistakes that put the safety of others at risk.
You may choose to give random drug tests. But, even if you don’t, your company should still have strict penalties for staff who aren’t working safely.
Your company may also want to offer an EAP, or employee assistance program. This is an anonymous service that can provide your staff with resources and counseling, in case they need help.
Meet OSHA Guidelines
The OSHA, or Occupational Health and Safety Administration, is the government body that regulates workplace safety. They have guidelines for workplace safety for most industries and may also do inspections.
If the OSHA finds your company in violation of health and safety requirements, you could face serious fines or even temporary shut-downs until you improve. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the requirements for your industry and then come up with a worksite safety plan, ensuring things are done correctly.
Reduce Employee Turnover
Employees don’t like working in a dirty or unsafe environment. They feel uncomfortable and it may also make them feel like their employer doesn’t care about them or their safety.
As a result, they’re going to look for other jobs. Staff turnover costs your company serious time and money, so instead, create a safe environment that makes employees proud to work for your company.
How Can You Keep Your Workplace Safe?
Now that you know why workplace safety is important, it’s also important to know how to improve it.
Here are a few ways you can make safe work practices part of your daily routine. While it may take some time to help employees become comfortable with new safety procedures, repetition and positive reinforcement will help.
Host Regular Employee Training
You can’t just assume all of your employees know how to stay safe in the office. Instead, management needs to arrange regular training and education sessions on key topics.
This includes fire drills, proper lifting techniques, conflict resolution, and how to safely work with dangerous chemicals. You can try to make training more fun by providing lunch and giving staff opportunities to socialize during training, which can improve team dynamics.
For safety data sheet management, you can put posters around the worksite with safety tips, but it’s also a good idea to make this information easily accessible online.
Invest in the Right Safety Equipment
Your workplace also needs safety equipment for staff to use. Depending on your industry, this may include PPE, scaffolding, forklifts, hard hats, and showers and eyewashes, in case of chemical exposure.
However, just having safety gear isn’t enough—it also needs to be kept clean and new, with regular checks made to replace gear that’s worn out. Worn out or updated safety gear can cause more accidents than they prevent, so schedule regular safety checks for all of your gear.
This also applies to fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide alarms.
Create a Positive Workplace Culture
Another way to keep your company safe is by working to create an optimistic workplace culture. You want to encourage staff and help them feel empowered to speak up if they see something wrong or if they have concerns.
Your employees are your first line of defense when it comes to company safety, since they’re on the ground each day and in the thick of things. If they feel content and proud of their workplace, they’re more likely to want to keep it safe.
Improve Your Workplace Safety Today
Is your workplace a safe environment? If you could use some improvement, use the tips above to develop new policies for your company.
Safety should always be the number one priority for every company, large or small. Through positivity, regular training, and a bit of camaraderie, you can turn your workplace into a safer and happier environment for both staff and customers.
Get started today by taking the time to update your company’s safety policies, making sure they’re timely and accurate. Soon, your workplace will be on track to growing and thriving—in a healthy way!
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