Before you can focus on anything else as a company, you need to ensure that your employees feel secure and comfortable enough to report safety concerns or injuries.
Failing to maintain compliance with the relevant regulations can lead to legal repercussions as well as decreased productivity.
If a worker does get injured, you will likely have to compensate them. One work injury lawyer in Philadelphia even states that this payment period could last up to 500 weeks.
For most businesses, that’s a cost they’d like to avoid. Balancing these concerns with others related to your business is a constant challenge.
Control Workplace Hazards
The risks associated with any given workplace are heavily dependent on the type of work involved, and identifying potential issues is the first step toward creating a safe environment.
Data collected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes the most commonly violated workplace standards, including a lack of respiratory protection, communication of hazards, and fall protection.
Depending on your industry, taking simple precautionary measures may have a significant effect on the overall workplace environment.
Ensuring that all equipment is in good condition and operated by trained employees, for example, or simply providing safety gear such as goggles and gloves, can go a long way toward reducing risk. It’s also important to have a neutral policy for claims that create a fair environment for all involved.
Create Policies for Risk Management
You’re not on your own during this process. There are many resources available to help you craft a set of policies that are right for your business, including this template.
Keep in mind that you’re required to conform to the OSHA standards, which has led to many businesses adopting a similar set of regulations depending on their specific needs.
Anything related to health and safety should be covered by a relevant policy. If you have heavy machinery, for example, consider creating a program certifying those capable of operating it.
Potentially harmful chemicals should only be handled by those trained to do so, and only while wearing protective gear. Of course, many of these concerns will depend on the nature of your business.
Stay on Top of Safety and Health
An effective health and safety policy is predicated on a matching set of regulations ensuring that everyone in the workplace is in compliance. Many businesses choose to establish a department in charge of health and safety and perform safety checks while working with regulators at all levels of government.
Maintaining a high level of safety isn’t done with one individual decision or policy: it’s an ongoing process that should involve all members of your organization. Workers should also be aware of their responsibilities under the new rules, and any misconduct that leads to dismissal should be thoroughly documented in order to minimize liability.
Employers owe their staff a safe, healthy, and comfortable work environment. They should be able to work without the fear of being hurt while performing their duties. Once you’ve taken your first steps toward creating a better environment, you’ll need to continually revisit and revise your decisions in order to continue to build a positive work safety culture.