No matter what kind of workplace your company has — from a small office with a handful of employees to a bustling industrial space — safety should always be top of mind in your operations. The fact is that even a small accident can lead to serious injury or illness, and create headaches for many employees, which hurts your bottom line.
Now is the perfect time to assess your workplace safety situation, because June is National Safety Month, and the following steps should set you on the path to a more effective approach:
1) Show workers the proper procedures for every task
First and foremost, anything you ask someone to do in your facility should come with a demonstration of how to do that task safely, according to Atlantic Training. Simply put, you don't want anyone putting themselves at needless risk because they are simply guessing about the right way to complete an assignment.
2) Keep the facility clean
No matter what size your workplace is, having a lot of clutter lying around not only makes it more difficult to work, but also increases injury risk, Atlantic Training said. Slipping, tripping or falling over items or unmarked dangerous surfaces is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, so getting in front of this kind of hazard is vital.
3) Communicate about safety issues
Over time, the safety situation in your workplace may change, and when it does, your employees should be apprised of the issue, Atlantic Training further added. A little more two-way communication here will go a long way toward improving knowledge of risks, and help you reduce them as a team.
4) For physical labor, encourage regular breaks
When workers are physically exerting themselves as part of their normal (or even abnormal) job duties, they should have the leeway to take breaks and reduce that physical stress as needed, according to eSafety. Everyone has their own unique physical limits and pushing people to the point that they could injure themselves is something you should avoid at all costs.
5) Clearly mark all exits and perform evacuation drills
Just like when you were in grade school, it's important to conduct fire/evacuation drills and make sure employees can always get to the nearest emergency exit easily, eSafety cautioned. That way, if there is an actual need to leave quickly, everyone knows exactly what to do no matter where they are in your office.
6) Create a process for reporting and reviewing hazards
Your employees should be your eyes and ears on the ground to spot and report any safety issues that crop up over time, according to EHS Insight. And when they do report these problems, you should make sure to fully investigate them and correct any hazards you discover as soon as possible.
7) Warn against taking shortcuts
Finally, even if you are on tight deadlines, employees should never sacrifice safety for perceived efficiency, because a single accident can set your whole organization back, EHS Insight advised. If there's an accident, employees could be injured and miss time at work, parts of your facility may need to be shut down for an investigation or cleanup, and human resources may need to complete a mountain of paperwork — all of which drain your operational bandwidth.
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