A safe workplace shields employees from injuries and illnesses. At the same time, it lowers the cost of injuries and illnesses, reduces absenteeism, increases productivity, turnover, quality of work and boosts employees’ morale.
Safety protocols should be in place to make workers more productive. Still, it’s your responsibility as the boss to ensure that you protect your employees at the workplace. However, the type of safety measures you employ will depend on the kind of work and safety threats. Here are safety tips to use at any office setup
Ensure the Employees Are Adequately Trained
When you train your employees adequately, they understand how to handle different tasks and equipment, minimising accidents and injuries. For instance, if you work with hazardous chemicals or complicated equipment, ensure that the employees, specifically the technicians, go through refresher courses and have attained all safety training for the position.
It’s also essential to go through safety checks every day at the start of operations. Also, ensure highly qualified technicians handle challenging tasks. Furthermore, all employees should understand the dangers of operating equipment or processes they’re not skilled at.
Ensure Employees Have Appropriate Safety Gear
Every operation requires a different level of safety, and when handling equipment or processes that are highly hazardous, employees should have personal protective equipment. The kind of protection chosen depends on the type of workplace hazard.
For instance, PPEs for technicians working with flammable chemicals are different from those exposed to high radiation levels.
Even when handling less risky operations such as moving items from one spot to another or delivering orders, employees should have appropriate gear such as helmets, gloves, and protective jackets.
When you employ motorcyclists to run errands or make deliveries, invest in ideal motorbike clothes that protect them from the elements such as rain, wind, cold and impacts.
Also, having everything in its proper place minimises accidents such as tripping and falls. Therefore, ensure the storage units used for the inventory and other products are strong enough to withstand the weight.
Sensitise the Importance of Safety Protocols at the Workplace
Do you have a workplace safety culture? Do you often convey the importance of safety to your employees? How often do you talk about safety at the workplace?
Do you have weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual workplace safety discussions? If you don’t, first understand the causes of the most severe workplace safety breaches you’ve experienced, then craft discussions based on that.
Choose the most recent safety concerns that will make the employees more focused and serious about the safety protocols. During the discussions, highlight the importance of wearing PPEs, following the security protocols and allowing experts to handle hazardous processes.
Reward Employees Who Follow the Set Safety Guidelines
Rewards encourage and motivate employees to continue working hard and follow the set guidelines. Gifting staff members who follow the established safety policies inspires and encourages others to follow suit. The exercise will drastically reduce workplace accidents and injuries, making it a safer place for everyone.
Give Employees the Freedom To Express Their Safety Concerns
Because employees are at the centre stage of all safety concerns, involve them in creating strategies or measures that make your workplace safer. Because they handle the equipment and processes, they can suggest safety measures to make the environment safe. It’d be best to make it easy to reach the management with suggestions or concerns and have issues addressed quickly.
When employees make suggestions, but no one addresses them, they will not volunteer information in the future leading to more severe safety concerns. For better coordination, let employees nominate a safety captain empowered to communicate all the safety concerns from the employees to the management.
Keep Appliances and Equipment in Good Shape
Well maintained equipment and appliances will break down less often, but using faulty equipment can be a safety hazard. Let employees notify the management of any defective equipment and carry out repairs before operations.
Also, replace old systems with newer and more efficient ones. More importantly, regularly inspect, service and clean the equipment. Understand the equipment well, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensure all safety protocols are in place. If you run a workshop
- Have enough ventilation
- Install safety signs
- Have equipment or machinery attended when running
- Have unobstructed emergency cut out switches
- Keep the work area and benches clutter-free and tidy
- Have all the equipment and tools stored safely after use
- Have clear fire exits
- Don’t fence offloading bays
- Repair any broken devices, equipment, workbenches
Use Labels and Signs
To communicate crucial information, use signs and labels. For instance, you can use images to detail proper procedures when handling hazardous equipment. Likewise, a sign on a fire exit informs the employees of how to exit a building when the fire alarm goes off.
Keep a Healthy Environment
Don’t just be concerned about the safety protocols, but maintain a healthy work environment too. Make sure that your workplace is clean and orderly, reducing germs and clutter. For example, an untidy workplace can lead to accidents, so make sure that floors are dry and spills cleaned fast.
Also, have enough ventilation, air conditioning and ergonomic furniture to promote a healthy relaxed work environment. It’s also essential to encourage the workers to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly.
To motivate them, offer healthy snacks, a well-equipped gym and encourage them to take breaks when working. An alternative to an office gym is paid gym memberships to clubs of their choice.
Periodically test the quality of the workplace air to ensure it’s clean and healthy. This is especially important in a production plant where there’s a lot of carbon monoxide emissions.
Also, invite safety experts to the premises to inspect and advise on appropriate safety measures to employ. The suggestions vary depending on the type of operations you have and the security concerns.
Another option is to have experts train employees about safety standards. Have training sessions specially developed for your type of operations.
As you work hard to maintain a healthy and safe workplace, remember to check the safety standards set by the local government for your type of organisation. To get detailed information, visit the regional council offices or check their website.