While safety has been one of the top priorities at the workplace even before the COVID pandemic, most businesses did not have to concern themselves with safety regulations unless they had an obvious reason to do so. Nowadays, however, more and more businesses are legally required to implement rules and regulations in order to ensure the highest possible safety of their employees. Even small businesses have a duty towards their employees to adhere to the highest possible safety standards and could face serious consequences if they fail to do so. From biochemical hazards to higher risks of injury to threats such as viruses, there are many factors that must be taken into account to ensure the safety of employees.
Proactivity in prevention is one of the most crucial traits of those businesses which are prime examples when it comes to the safety of their employees. That means that the phrase “better safe than sorry” is taken very seriously, as it should be, and thoroughly implemented. They do not wait for an accident to happen and try to minimise the damage once it has; they take an active role in identifying potential risks and preventing accidents before they have a chance to rear their ugly head. In order to accomplish this, the first step is to create a health and safety plan in which you would provide detailed information to your employees about the concrete steps and procedures which will be taken to guarantee their security in the workplace. The next step would definitely be to regularly inspect the equipment such as tools and machines the employees use for work and make sure that they are well maintained and safe to use. Ensure the storage boxes are properly stacked and that any containers with potentially hazardous substances are tightly sealed. You will also want to make sure that any dangerous machinery is contained when it’s not in use, for example, if you use industrial mixers you’ll want something like a spider support stand to hold and contain your mixer safely, preventing any spillages and workers hurting themselves on the rudders. It would also be prudent to put in measures to help prevent (or at least reduce the impact) of conflicts between employees – whilst not as obvious a health and safety measure as anything equipment-related, mental wellbeing is still an important part of a health and safety policy. Taking steps to get a couple of trusted staff members cpi certified could make a big difference and ensure that things are nipped in the bud before they have a chance to grow and cause bigger problems.
Even if you have taken an active approach in preventing accidents, mistakes are bound to happen whether due to a lack of foresight or the carelessness of the employees. When this happens, it’s paramount that the accident is thoroughly investigated, that its cause has been identified and that new measures are applied in order to avoid it in the future. Take all the factors influencing the accident into account and take care to enhance those which could help prevent it or minimise the damage, while removing those which contribute to the higher chance of the accident occurring.
Give to your employees
Another way you can help reduce workplace risks is by providing adequate attire for your employees. Each job has its unique challenges and without the proper clothes to guarantee maximum ease of movement and protection, employees sometimes cannot rise to the occasion. Thankfully, finding clothes that fit both your and the employees’ needs is rarely a challenge, regardless of whether you’re looking for work shorts for men or something more suited to a specific risk. With that said, all the maintenance, quality and protective gear in the world are not enough to prevent an accident if the employees are not properly trained to handle the equipment and products at the workplace. Proper training must be provided in order to practically educate the employees as best as possible and mitigate any risk of injury. Training should not include only the safety rules and regulations but also the best way to handle the tools and equipment at their disposal, as well as a course of action in case of malfunction. If you want your employees to avoid health hazards in the workplace, it’s your job to teach them how to do it.
Create a culture of safety first and open dialogue
One of the most important things you can do to ensure that safety measures are not just learned but practised is to instil a safety-first culture within your company. To do this, make sure that you advertise the ideal of safety and reward those employees who follow the safety guidelines. This will strengthen their belief about safety as a priority and encourage them to repeat that behaviour in similar situations in the future. Once there’s a stable safety-oriented culture, you can further strengthen it by keeping the information flowing. Make it as easy as possible for employees of any and all ranks to come to you with safety concerns and ideas about possible improvements. This way, they will feel that their opinion and health are valued and you will receive information that would be unavailable to you unless you spend some time at the position.
While the guidelines presented in this article are general, there is no “one size fits all” safety program that could guarantee maximum security for all. Each company and each situation are different and should be approached accordingly in order to best assess the risks and mitigate them to the highest possible degree.