Employers understand that there are many responsibilities associated with running a business. One of their largest (and most basic) responsibilities is worker safety. As an employer you’re obligated to provide a safe working environment for your employees as well as provide the necessary tools to keep them safe. This obligation is one that can never be overlooked. Employee injuries can harm a business in many ways, including overall reputation.
Employers may find that this large responsibility is not as difficult to manage as it may seem. It requires planning ahead for very unusual circumstances (as an example, I once had to crawl through the ceiling of an office to get to a room that several workers had been locked out of.) There are several things that every business can do to create a safe working environment, protecting the employee and the company simultaneously.
Suggestions For A Safe Working Environment
Create A Safety Manual
Since every business is unique, it is important to create a safety manual that pertains to your exact business. Include in this manual the procedures that your employees are required to follow. Include in the manual what procedures should be taken if a safety issue is seen by an employee. Make it mandatory for all employees to read this manual and have a form signed stating that they understand the information.
Mandatory Safety Meetings
Designate one time period each week or month to review a safety issue. This can be a simple 10 minute meeting. Go over safety issues that may have occurred since the previous meeting and listen for employee concerns. Interacting with employees about these issues will make you aware of any problems that may be occurring within the company that you are not aware of and help you solve the problem.
Provide Safety Equipment
Employers who provide the right safety equipment are more likely to have employees that use the safety equipment. Employers can make some equipment mandatory foe employees to purchase, such as safety shoes, but providing additional items will keep your business safer. These items may include hard hats, safety goggles, disposable coveralls, and work gloves. Always have a first id station located within the work area for additional safety.
Establish Injury Protocols
Make sure that your employees know what to do if they are inured and how it will be handled. Always have someone on duty that can take employees to the clinic for minor injuries, or get emergency help if necessary. Employees need to know that their best interests are a priority to their employer.
Of course, there are other things that are necessary to keep your business safe. Regular inspections of equipment, conducting regular walk-throughs of the work area to look for problems on a regular basis, and maintaining the building to code should be the foundation of your efforts.