As a business owner, you have a legal and moral responsibility to provide as much of a hazard-free and safe workplace for your employees as possible. Many businesses, however, do not do everything in their power to keep their workplaces safe. Managers sometimes neglect to enforce various safety regulations or cut a few corners to save time and/or money. Even if precautions are put in place, many places of work don’t properly train their employees in how to avoid danger or they don’t provide the necessary follow-up to ensure their employees remain alert, vigilant, and aware. Because of this, employees in these businesses are more at risk for various dangers and are unsure of what to do in such an emergency.
It must be a primary concern, as an employer, to do everything possible to put safety measures in place and train your employees accordingly and regularly. If you are unsure of how to proceed, use the following guide to help you in making your workplace a more safe and secure area for your employees.
1. Establish a Safety-Conscious Attitude
The most important thing you can do to ensure the safety of your employees is to initiate a climate of safety in your workplace. If you and your employees are committed to safety it will have a tremendous effect on the environment. This means putting as much thought and effort into your safety as you would any other aspect of your business. By changing the climate of your business, you can have a real effect on workplace safety throughout your entire staff.
2. Identify Your Workplace Hazards
The next step is to identify what areas of your business environment and operations are potentially the most hazardous. Review past injury records, survey employees, and consult with a safety expert who is trained to find problem areas that the rest of us might otherwise overlook. Also, make sure you are well-versed in the various OSHA regulations that pertain to your situation.
3. Create a Plan for Each Potential Hazard
Now that you have identified equipment, processes, or locations where accidents are more likely to occur, it is time to create a plan of action. Take the following questions into consideration when writing out your safety plan:
- – What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) do employees need to perform their duties safely?
- – What actions (or non-actions) can put employees at risk in each situation?
- – What do they need to know?
- – What should they avoid?
- – What steps should they take if they are involved in an accident?
4. Involve Your Employees in the Planning of a Safe Workplace
As previously mentioned regarding surveying employees, as you start to create your plans, make sure to get employee input. Since they are the ones most in harm’s way, they definitely have a stake in the safety of the workplace. In addition, they might also be aware of potential hazards, or ways to avoid those hazards, that you would not know since they are around those dangerous areas each and every day.
5. Provide Adequate Employee Training
Once your plans are in place, train your employees. This means educating each employee about all of the dangers they might come into contact with each day, as well as what they should do in the event of an accident. This also means reinforcing this training with regular drills to deal with certain situations, such as environmental concerns or employee injury. Many workplaces even require staff members to become certified in first aid and CPR. If your business falls into this category, ensure that all employees are up-to-date with all necessary certifications. The more they know and are capable of responding to, the safer everyone will be.
6. Make Sure New Hires Are IMMEDIATELY Trained for Their Jobs
One of the biggest concerns for workplace safety is with new and inexperienced hires. It is at this time that someone is most vulnerable to accidents. Make sure new employees are exceptionally trained in all workplace safety protocols BEFORE they begin their regular work duties.
7. Always Look for Ways to Improve the System
Finally, always be on the lookout for ways to improve your safety. Just because something is working does not mean it can’t be improved and made even safer. As you and your employees learn more, offer incentives to encourage them to find new ways to keep your business hazard-free. A little investment now can have huge dividends in the future!
Keeping a safe workplace is no joke. As a business owner, you need to do everything in your power to keep your employees safe not only from an ethical standpoint but to also avoid a Workers Compensation claim. By following these simple guidelines, you will have gone a long way to keeping everyone free from danger and your business free from liability suits.
Regardless if you take all of the necessary precautionary measures, accidents are always a possibility in the workplace. If you are a business owner, contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency by calling (860) 886-1961 to review your current Worker’s Compensation policy. Make sure you are sufficiently covered in the event of a worst case scenario.