Improving workplace safety should be easy – here are some ways to do so

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Improving workplace safety should be easy

Creating and maintaining a safe workplace should be a top priority for companies, regardless of the sector they perform in. According to the Occupational Health and Safety law, all organisations are responsible for creating and maintaining a safe workplace. Unfortunately, most companies think it’s enough to put up safety posters and run a safety training session once in a while. The high number of workplace accidents proves that these measures fail to provide the expected results. 

Businesses must actively promote and foster a workplace culture of safety continually so that it becomes an inherent feature of the brand. It implies more than making safety an organisational value; it requires taking steps to provide the workforce with a safe workplace and constantly updating the policies, and upgrading the conditions to keep up with the changing needs. 

An organisation can improve its safety culture only if it commits to openly communicating with its workers. 

What are the benefits of a safe workplace?

A safe workplace benefits both the employer and the workforce by reducing illness and injuries and decreasing the lost workdays and overhead for companies.

Ways to promote a strong safety culture and ensure a safe workplace

Benefits for employees

When your employees have an accident at the workplace, they can experience suffering, pain, and loss of income they rely on to pay for expenses and care for their families. Injuries often put high stress on their relationships because they trigger healthcare expenses and sometimes even death. 

Keeping this in mind, you can understand why it’s vital to create a safe workplace that improves self-esteem and morale, promotes mental health and independence, and keeps your workforce healthy and strong. 

Benefits for organisations

When you create and maintain a safe workplace, you have lower costs associated with illness and injury and reduce absenteeism and turnover. Employees tend to be more productive when they feel safe and appreciated at work. When you fail to create safe conditions for your workers, and they get injured, they can claim compensation for accidents, which can impact your company’s profitability. 

Ways to promote a strong safety culture and ensure a safe workplace

Implement safety protocols from the start

Workplace safety starts from the first day of the business or the first day of work for an employee. Hiring qualified experts to pay attention to details and safety protocols is advisable. A safe workplace starts with a workforce that follows well-established rules and completes their tasks according to procedures. You can collaborate with physical therapists to identify the physical demands of each position and establish safety protocols accordingly. 

Evaluate the specific needs of each position and use the findings to create guidelines for completing activities. 

Eliminate potential dangers

Evaluate your workspace and remove any recognised chemical and physical hazard to ensure your business is in compliance with OSHA standards, regulations, and rules. Use your internal systems to communicate safety regulations and remind employees how to prevent accidents in the workplace. 

Encourage employees to identify and report potential hazards and safety violations so you can take immediate measures to resolve issues. Train them on how to avoid slips, trips, and falls. 

Ensure all employees are properly trained

All companies must provide their workforce with safety training using a language everyone can easily understand. New employees should receive safety training before starting any activity. It’s also recommended to offer refresher courses to all workers periodically to ensure that they remember how to avoid accidents and react in case of injury. When workers change positions, it’s paramount to offer training that provides them with knowledge about how to stay safe at the new job. 

Perform risk assessments

Safety audits and routine risk assessments are essential steps in keeping your workforce safe. It’s advisable to carry out assessments periodically to identify new hazards or emerging risks and take measures to remove them before they cause any incident. After you complete your assessments, assign appropriate tasks to team leaders to mitigate risk and keep their workers safe. 

Establish safety standards and qualifications for all positions

When creating position descriptions, make sure also to include workplace health and safety requirements so everyone knows what their attributions are. All workers should have a minimum level of safety they must adhere to and particular responsibilities for maintaining the workplace safe. Depending on your sector, they might have to dispose of hazardous materials or follow particular rules on operating machinery and equipment. 

What are the benefits of a safe workplace

Ensure your workforce has proper equipment

An essential step in keeping your employees safe and healthy is to provide them with the necessary equipment and tools to complete their tasks in safety conditions. Suppose your employees work in positions that require personal protective equipment; you should ensure they always wear the necessary attire. It’s easy to forget to wear a particular piece or choose not to wear something because they have the misconception that it prevents them from completing their work. But neglecting to wear full personal protective equipment can turn fatal. There’s a reason why some workplaces have clear regulations on how to wear PPE. 

It’s also crucial all equipment and machinery are serviced, cleaned, and regularly inspected as to avoid becoming a risk to workers’ safety. Machine malfunctions are a common workplace hazard.

Pay attention to physical safety and mental health

It’s important to create a working environment that promotes physical and mental health. Please take steps to create a space that enables your workers to care for their health and provide them with appropriate well-being and mental health services. 

Mental health issues are an increasing area of concern for businesses because they impact the overall performance and production the same way a physical injury would. Workers are vulnerable to stress-related and emotional injuries as a direct result of their roles. A series of factors can have a negative impact on their mental health, from unpleasant workplaces to harassment and bullying. 

Business leaders are responsible for protecting their employees and creating a safe working environment. The above recommendations can help them make their workplaces more productive, healthier, and safer.