Looking for ways to improve workplace safety? This article explores simple yet crucial ways to eliminate safety hazards and keep employees safe.
Everybody wants to work in a pleasant, comfortable and safe environment. Working in a positive workplace where you feel safe and protected helps you stay productive and efficient. But, more importantly, it helps you maintain your overall health and wellbeing. So, creating and maintaining a safe work environment should be a top priority for all employers.
If you’re looking for strategies to improve your workplace safety, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some ideas:
Identify and Eliminate Potential Hazards
First things first, in order to create a safe work environment for your employees, you need to make sure what you need to protect them from.
Think about it: how can you make changes and help your employees stay safe while they are at work if you aren’t sure what safety hazards they are exposed to day by day? You simply can’t. In order to take the correct safety measures, you need to know what they are taking them against.
One good way to identify the risk correctly is to analyse the step-by-step activity of your workers. Identify if they handle heavy things, get exposed to dangerous substances, if they work at high heights, and all these sorts of things that can put them at risk.
Besides that, it will also help to talk to your employees and find out what their concerns are. They know better than anyone the safety risks they feel exposed to. So, make sure to ask them how you can help and what they consider would keep them safer while doing their job.
Asking a workplace safety expert can also help. They can travel to your business location and identify potential safety hazards that neither you nor your employees have noticed. This can really save you from a terrible accident that no one saw coming.
Properly Train Your Employees
A great strategy to ensure that your employees are safe at work is to train them. Here’s the deal: the better your employees know how to do their job, the smaller the risk of an accident happening.
If your employees handle dangerous things, be it heavy machinery or hazardous substances, or if they work at high heights, they must know precisely how to do their job in order to avoid mistakes that can lead to injuries or, even worse, deaths.
Make sure to provide proper training to your employees with a focus on avoiding safety hazards. Teach all your workers how to protect themselves from the risk associated with their activity and how to respond to safety crises if anybody else is involved in an accident.
Ensure Proper Safety Equipment
Proper safety equipment can be really life-saving if an accident can’t be prevented and happens. From gloves to foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices, hard hats, full bodysuits, and more, these are all examples of protective equipment that can help your employees avoid getting injured while doing their job.
As an employer, you have the legal and moral responsibility to provide your employees with proper equipment that will keep them safe. As the experts from Accident Claims Advice explain, “If the employer fails to protect their workers by providing proper training, equipment, and a safe workplace, they are liable for their failure to take precautions.”
So, make sure that you provide your workers with everything they need to stay safe at the job site.
Use Labels and Signs
No matter how much training you offer to your employees, remember that they are only humans, meaning that they are predisposed to making mistakes.
Human employees have their own personal problems, medical conditions, and concerns, which can all affect their focus and capabilities to make safe decisions while doing their jobs. So, to provide them support with avoiding making mistakes that may put them and others in danger, use all sorts of labels and signs to remind them of the obligatory safety practices.
You can use colour codes, posters, labels, and signs to warn employees about potential hazards and remind them how they should avoid risks. This visual aide helps your employees be reminded of how to stay safe, which can prevent them from making mistakes that can impact their own safety.
Something as simple as labels and signs can help you promote safety awareness and make your work environment safer.
Hold Monthly Safety Meetings
Another essential strategy to improve safety at your workplace is to hold monthly meetings with employees, managers, and safety experts. It’s not wise to assume that you have “fixed” all safety hazards that exist at your workplace. Instead, you should ensure that no new potential risk has occurred and is being ignored.
Each month, gather all your employees and discuss their safety concerns. Find out if your workers have stumbled upon a new potential safety hazard that stresses them and makes them feel unsafe.
Suppose your business activity suffers any changes, such as digitalisation or industrialisation. In that case, it is particularly important to hold these meetings and identify any new aspects that may put workers at risk. For example, maybe your business purchases new machinery to increase productivity. If such a case, you should do two essential things: train employees to operate these new technologies safely and identify potential new safety risks that your workers may be exposed to.
Reward Employees for Safe Behaviour
Last but not least, you should involve your employees in creating and maintaining a safe workplace. But, besides asking them for advice related to their safety concerns, you should also reward their efforts to maintain your work environment a safe one.
Reward those employees that always use protective equipment, those that teach their co-workers how to do their job safely, and those that signal any new potential risk. Doing so will encourage them to be actively involved in maintaining your business a safe place to work for.