What will it take to improve safety in your workplace? How can you do it in a cost-effective manner? Many business owners believe that an injury is something their business shouldn’t worry about until it happens, while lots of others believe that implementing a system focused on improving safety in the workplace will break the bank.
At Worker Care, we believe the simple approach is usually the best approach, which is why we’ve put together some easy steps that any business can do to help foster a safety-oriented workplace.
1) HIRE FOR SAFETY
When business gets hectic and you just don’t have enough people, it can be easy to make a quick hire to get you through the busy times. Employers would be wise to consider the risk associated with hiring an incompetent worker — someone who is far more likely to become injured. Carefully screen candidates to ensure that they have the skills and experience it takes to perform the work safely. Furthermore, workplace safety should be a team effort, so find leaders within your team that can set a positive example of workplace safety.
2) TRAIN FOR SAFETY
Counting on common sense to keep workers safe can be a recipe for disaster. Common sense isn’t always common practice. Even an experienced worker should be given instruction to meet your expectations of how the job will be done. If you know certain techniques that can make doing a job safer, be sure to share them with your workers. Don’t be afraid to inquire or report unsafe work practices, and make sure your people aren’t afraid either.
3) DEMAND THE JOB BE DONE SAFELY
Choosing productivity over safety sends the wrong message to your employees. You want workers to share your vision of a safe workplace and be engaged and active in making that happen. Workers will support your vision only if they believe it’s real. Consider recognizing staffers who offer suggestions for working safely.
One pitfall, however, would be offering incentives for achieving zero injuries. This tends to breed zero reporting of any injuries, rather than no injuries at all.
4) PROVIDE THE RIGHT TOOLS
You can’t expect employees to take reasonable precautions (for example, tie a personal line to a safety device when working at a height) without providing them proper tools and equipment. There is a very strong human drive toward expediency and many workers will risk using the wrong tool or taking a short cut to get a job done.
5) PLAN AND PRACTICE
Practice makes perfect, but you have to make sure everyone is on the same page when it’s time to practice. Always make sure to include a written plan of action in your policies and procedures manual, and make sure every employee understands what needs to happen should there be a crisis. And if you’re able, it’s always a good idea to practice your drills on a regular basis, making sure they stay fresh in your employees’ minds when the need arises.
6) ALWAYS LOOK FOR NEW IDEAS
As your business grows and thrives, make sure you’re keeping your ears open for new ways to enhance your safety plan. Spend some time with your workers brainstorming ideas to improve safety. Always make sure your employees feel comfortable enough to come to you with their safety concerns, and make sure to act on their suggestions. Law enforcement officials are usually willing to offer suggestions, private companies can teach and provide security. Or you can possibly find someone in your community who is a proven expert in workplace safety.
We hope that these tips will help your business take steps necessary to improve the safety of your employees. Want some more interesting reading? Here’s the most cited OSHA Violations, which should help you avoid some major problems.
And you can always contact us about our services to help maximize your employee’s health and productivity!