Safety should be considered the number one concern for every workplace. In many lines of work, injuries on the job are a very real risk and preventing them should be a priority. Unfortunately, there are a lot of managers and employees that see safety protocols as wastes of time and money.
This is a common misconception that inevitably leads to losses for the bottom line. An investment in safety is almost certainly an investment in the future of the company. Here are some ways you can make your workplace safer.
#1. Keep a watchful eye
Being mindful of your surroundings is the first step to ensuring safety in the workplace. Some workplaces aren’t exactly clean bastions of safety, which is why extra precautions have to be taken in order to avoid incidents. Construction yards and warehouses are great examples of especially dangerous environments to work in, due to the dangerous machinery and very large weights that need to be transported. This doesn’t mean you should disregard safety precautions when working in other work environments. A hospital might not be a hotbed for physical dangers, but it can be full of health and bio hazards.
Workers must be just as vigilant as their managers. When operating in the workplace, workers should regularly check tools to make sure they’re functioning properly.
It’s important to review safe work procedures in the storage area. Sometimes boxes and tools aren’t stacked hastily and this could lead to injuries. Everyone should know where the fire exit is located and there should be nothing that prevents them from using it.
#2. Encourage proper communication
There are very few problems in the world that couldn’t be solved with the right kind of communication. When it comes to workplace safety, communication is especially important. As a manager, you should encourage your workers to communicate safety concerns they may have regarding their work. You can’t be expected to know the ins and outs of every job in the workplace, which is why getting their input will help you better understand what needs fixing.
When working in large spaces or areas that have a lot of noise, workers should have additional ways to communicate with their coworkers. A walkie-talkie is essential on construction yards, for example. Sometimes you’re going to want to reach someone quickly without having to use your phone. A pager might come in handy. Pagers are especially popular in the medical field because some areas of the hospital do not have phone reception.
#3. Reduce stress in the workplace
There’s nothing more dangerous for workers than being stressed out. Stress is one of the crucial factors that can lead to workplace injury. Certain job positions are more prone to causing stress than others. Busy work schedules and numerous responsibilities can make anyone feels stressed and burned out.
Some employees have long working hours after midnight which can adversely affect their work, while at the same time it presents a safety hazard. Workers that operate heavy machinery have to be well-rested at all times in order to avoid making dangerous mistakes.
The physical aspect of stress isn’t the only thing you should be worried about. Work fatigue is a real danger when it comes to certain lines of work. High-pressure work environments and demanding managers can lead to workers feeling inadequate and depressed.
Not only does this affect their work habits, but it can also affect their health. Managers shouldn’t look at work hours as a measure of productivity and work done. The quality of work done during work hours should be the focus.
#4. Provide adequate training
Proper training is a crucial step to performing well in any line of work. This is especially true for jobs that deal with heavy machinery and large loads.
Workers can’t jump into work without knowing all the relevant safety information that goes with the job. Making sure workers are safe should be the top priority for a manager, but some responsibility rests on the shoulders of the workers as well.
Training is a joint effort that requires patience and effort on the part of the worker. It’s not uncommon to see workers disregarding safety protocols in order to save time and reduce the workload.
Providing proper safety training isn’t the easiest task. Not every manager is aware of all the hidden secrets behind every piece of equipment or machinery. The task requires extensive knowledge of government safety regulations. Sometimes outsider assistance might be necessary, which is why a lot of managers consult Sydney Rescue Consultants before starting their training seminars.
If you don’t provide the proper training to your employees, this could lead to unnecessary injury and on-site mistakes. Worse yet, you could be held legally liable for the injuries if you haven’t done your duty to prevent them.
#5. Maintain thorough records
Paperwork can be a nuisance, but it is a necessary part of everyday work. When it comes to safety, that paperwork could mean the difference between a lawsuit and some minor compensation.
It’s crucial that you keep a record of every important step your employees take. This will help you avoid issues in case something work-related isn’t being done properly and by the books.
If any incidents should happen in the workspace, you need to thoroughly document everything that happened. Workers should file their own reports regarding the incident.
Regulatory agencies like OSHA require extensive paperwork with every mishap. If you fail to provide this paperwork, you might get in trouble even if nobody wants to take legal action.
It’s also important to keep records of all training seminars, especially when it comes to first aid training. With this written evidence, you can more easily find and identify unsafe trends in the workplace, allowing you to make the necessary modifications to fix them.
Workplace safety is one area of business where you shouldn’t cut corners. Workers are the most important asset a company can have, which is why keeping them safe is absolutely crucial. When it comes to safety protocols, education is paramount to making improvements.
Teach your employees and let them teach you about the dangers of your work environment. With proper communication and lots of effort, you can make your workplace a safe environment full of productivity.