8 Workplace Safety Tips that Employers should Implement
Workplace safety is the common thread that unites employees that are productive and successful. Whether your business is an office or involved in manufacturing, it is your responsibility to provide a safe working environment. Workplace injuries not only affect the employee and their families, but it also has a profound effect on the profitability of the business. Take note of these eight workplace safety tips that will go a long way in improving occupational safety and wellbeing of your employees.
1. Safety training
Employers should focus on worker safety training. Employees need to be trained to do their duties safely. That is especially true when it comes to handling hazardous materials or lifting heavy items. Safety training should be mandatory when new employees join, and periodic refresher courses should be undertaken so that employees do not forget the importance of maintaining safety at the workplace.
2. Safety gear and equipment
Depending on the type of industry, an organization should provide the right safety gear and equipment to their employees. It is best to consult an industry association to determine the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for your workers so they are safe while working.
The right footwear is key to minimize injuries. The footwear should have non-slip soles and in places where the chances of foot injuries are high, workers should be encouraged to wear closed-toe or even steel toe shoes. Also, the footwear should be suitable for the weather, so that workers’ feet get optimal protection.
4. Tools and equipment
If workers do not have the right tools and equipment to carry out their duties, chances are high that they will suffer from injuries. However, just providing the correct equipment and tools is not sufficient. There should be regular maintenance of the tools and equipment to ensure they are not broken or malfunctioning. Power tools should be inspected to assure that proper guards and safety mechanisms are in place, electrical plugs still have the grounding plug and cords are not frayed. This will not only ensure worker safety but also enhance the lifespan of the equipment and tools.
5. Signs and labels
Every workplace has permanent and temporary hazards. Spills and wet floors are temporary, but sharp tools and hazardous chemicals are permanent hazards. Workers should know what to expect when they are working or entering the workplace. Permanent hazards require the right signage in the form of labels while temporary hazards should have obvious warning signs that workers can see and read.
6. Emergency protocols
Organizations require a proper and written safety plan in place that informs employees what to do in case of emergencies. They should know what steps to take when someone is injured or if there is a serious issue in the workplace. The plan should be shared with all employees and be part of the training of new employees. It should contain not only emergency contact numbers, but also contact information for the insurance carriers or agents to report claims. Companies should post the plan in places that are easily accessible by employees, electronically and physically, who can refer to it when the need arises.
7. Building maintenance
Having safety measures in place and ignoring building maintenance is not the way to keep the workplace safe. Hence, organizations should also take a closer look at the building to ensure that housekeeping is current. In a wood shop, an exhaust system for capturing sawdust and regular cleaning, sweeping and vacuuming is done to lower the fire hazards. Equipment and boxes should not be stored in walkways or halls, these create a tripping hazard. Make sure the roof covering in in good repair, any loose or missing shingles are replaced, water leakage creates a multitude of issues both property and liability related.
8. Electrical installation
One of the major causes of fire in workplaces is faulty electrical installations. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure all electrical systems at the workplace conform to the local regulations. In most cases, when the building was built it complied with regulations to get the certificate of occupancy, but when renovations or change are done, the system can become compromised.
The Final Words
Organizations can make their workplace safe by following these workplace safety tips. However, they should also include safety measures that are specific to their industry to ensure good morale, higher productivity and lower workers’ compensation costs. A safe workplace means happy employees.