It’s easy for employers to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of their companies and neglect other necessary aspects of running a business, such as workplace safety.
Every single business has a legal and moral obligation to keep their employees safe. So to protect your business and your staff, here are some simple methods to help all businesses prioritizse workplace safety year round.
1. Emphasise training
Training is one of the most important aspects of keeping employees safe. While training new hires during the onboarding process is standard, employers should also provide employees with additional training at least once each year or whenever safety procedures change. And remember managers and supervisors aren’t exempt from ongoing safety training.
2. Perform frequent job hazard analyses
If you’re starting a business, opening a new location, or undergoing any major change to your operations, then a job hazard analysis should be one of your top priorities. In some cases, it may make sense to reach out to occupational health and safety experts to assess your workplace and identify any and all hazards that may be present. This analysis should detail every hazard your team members will face while performing their jobs, and should serve as the blueprint for your safety policies moving forward.
(Workplace injuries occur more often, and culture dies, when you’re facing a revenue shortfall. Read our report.)
3. Set clear goals
Workplace safety programs can’t be run on autopilot. After designing and implementing an occupational safety plan, employers should set clear goals for their team. While a zero-incident workplace should be the ultimate goal, it’s more important to ensure that employees respond appropriately when they encounter hazards on the job. Don’t hesitate to offer incentives for employees who consistently follow the proper rules and safety procedures; recognition leads to repeated success.
4. Remember that safety isn’t just physical
Aside from avoiding physical workplace injuries, safety training should also address any mental or emotional dangers of employment and communicate healthy ways to combat them. For example, stress is common in any workplace and, instead of leaving your employees to deal with it themselves, ensure that staff are taking breaks and vacation time as needed. In addition, employees should always feel safe and comfortable voicing concerns to supervisors.
5. Encourage feedback from employees about safety protocols
In many cases, nobody will be more accurate at assessing the risks of a workplace than the employees themselves, simply because they work with the same conditions every day. Encourage employees to come to management with any safety concerns they have, no matter how small they may seem. If you feel that your employees may be concerned about privacy, find a way for them to anonymously submit requests. The ultimate goal is to make your employees feel not only safe, but heard. As you receive feedback from employees, make sure you update your workplace safety training appropriately.