A workplace accident can never be completely prevented. Even in the safest of environments, people get hurt. People slip even in offices and the risk of fire and electrocution is omnipresent even in the most unlikely of environments. Still, it’s a job of an employer to create a safe and compelling workplace environment. Not only is this great for reducing downtime due to the number of sick leave days but you also need to think about doing the right thing from an ethical perspective. So, here are six ways to build a compelling and safe workplace.
1. Make sure everyone is properly trained
You may sometimes find yourself in need of a quick replacement, however, until the person is fully trained and aware of the workplace’s hazards, they can’t start working there. Start by assigning a standard duration of a training process. Assign a training officer or even consider starting a mentoring program. This way, you have a system of accountability in place and more people in your employ will start seeing safety as their personal responsibility. Other than this, it helps with long-term safety strategy even in case of a massive expansion of your enterprise.
2. Slip and trip
There are several ways to make the area more slip-and-trip resistant. First of all, you need to display some ‘wet floor’ signs that you can display across the place during maintenance. Second, you need to consider getting an anti slip mat for every location where slips are more likely to happen. In terms of tripping, you need to invest in a better cable organization and urge your team to avoid leaving items on the floor. As soon something falls down it needs to be picked up. Keep in mind that working long hours naturally lowers one’s alertness so try not to overwork your staff.
3. PPE for everyone
The next step is providing all of your staff with a suitable PPE. Personal protective equipment is there to prevent injuries and protect your employees from suffering consequences to their long-term health. In the COVID-19 era, there’s even more equipment to wear. Masks are not mandatory even when not handling toxic materials but there are also glass dividers, visors and more. Overall, providing everyone with PPE equipment is one of three vital steps in ensuring safety. The second one is showing everyone how to wear it properly. The third one is making sure that they actually wear it.
4. Signs and labels
A lot of time, your employees will lose perspective of all the hazards in the workplace. Fortunately, you can make some of these hazards harder to forget by adding a couple of signs and labels across the place. This is a two-fold protection method. First, it helps raise the alertness of your staff and keeps it there for a longer period of time. Second, it provides you with a certain level of legal protection. Chances are that it’s your duty to display these warning signs all over the place. Considering how cheap and simple this is, there’s really no excuse.
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5. Reporting system
Even the best security officer can’t see every little hazard in your workplace. Instead, you should develop a reporting system where every employee can contribute with a suggestion. This is the so-called near-miss system. In order to make the system even more effective, you should offer some incentive. For instance, a great suggestion should be rewarded with an extra day off or a bonus on their salary. Sure, this sounds expensive but when you compare it to an alternative (which is workplace injury), you stand to lose a lot more.
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6. Keep an eye out
An employer can provide their employees with proper equipment but it’s up to employees whether they’ll wear them properly when no one is looking. So, make sure to keep an eye out. For starters, you need to appoint a security officer. Second, you should take a tour around the place every once in a while. Make sure to do so unannounced. Third, make sure that you cut them no slack. After all, you’re doing this for their own good. Sure, the penalties shouldn’t be too serious (for first-time offenders). Still, if someone is consistently ignoring these rules, it might be for the best to lay them off.
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The above-listed six items are both ethical and pragmatic, which makes them into a winning scenario and your own personal must-do list. Remember that your employees have a lot on their minds. Sure, everyone is responsible for their own safety but if something is an obvious hazard, you need to do your best to avoid this. Most importantly, writing some rules and instructing everyone on how they should behave is a logical first step but it’s ineffective unless there’s someone monitoring whether these rules are actually enforced.