The US Department of Labor reported 2.8 million workplace injuries occurred in private industry in 2019. While most of these injuries were non-fatal, some would have needed constant medical attention. For business owners, the cost goes beyond compensating the worker. Investing valuable time and resources to hire and train new employees also takes a toll on company finances.
It’s your responsibility to protect your employees. Even so, accidents are common. The right attitude, however, is to acknowledge that most causes of injury are preventable. By exercising necessary care, you can not only protect their interests but also ensure a safer workplace for all. Here are five simple ways to be a more responsible employer and reduce workplace hazards.
Follow safety guidelines
Different safety guidelines apply according to the business industry or sector. Workplace hazards are more significant for companies involved in construction and logistics, for example. But even an ordinary office can be full of hazards if the company doesn’t follow at least the minimum safety protocols.
Every company needs to make employees aware of these protocols. Standards of safety when using facilities should be visible in specific areas. At the very least, there should be signs for fire exits, stairs, and fire extinguishers. There should be labels to caution employees in case an item poses some type of hazard, like a hot surface for example.
Conduct regular training on workplace safety
Workplace safety is the mutual responsibility of employers and employees. To make your employees aware of the guidelines, you need to conduct regular training. You can monitor their knowledge and address gaps, and ensure compliance as well. Most companies today conduct drills for fires and earthquakes too. Depending on what’s required for your business, make sure to roll out these programs promptly.
Keep an open communication
Communication between employees and employers shouldn’t be a challenge. There needs to be a clear process of how employees can raise concerns about occupational safety and health. If possible, have a convenient channel for them to report incidents. For example, there needs to be a safety leader for each department who addresses and resolves these issues.
Invest in safety and security equipment
Many companies only follow the bare minimum when it comes to safety protocols. Yet, it helps reduce risk when a business also invests in safety. For example, buying high-quality protective equipment for employees that work in hazardous conditions enhances their security. Also, avoiding shortcuts especially when there’s a tight deadline will further prevent accidents.
Make safety a part of company culture
Companies need to practice workplace safety as part of their culture. What this means is that abiding by safety protocols should be second nature for workers and their employers. These standards should be part of regular team discussions and reminders. It could be as simple as keeping workstations clean, as long as the practice is well-ingrained and observed. Also, the highest standards of preventing workplace hazards should be visible in how the company conducts business with clients.