Organisations are always looking for new ways of making the workplace environment safe for every employee. In recent years, the number of personal injury cases has been on the rise in several countries worldwide. Employers are paying out huge sums of money in compensation further strengthening the need for workplace safety.
Organisations are always in pursuit of new ways of minimising workplace accidents and reducing the likelihood of disruptive incidents that may occur. Below are ten simple steps that you can follow to make any workplace safer for everyone.
1. Implement workplace safety protocols right from the start
The safety of any workplace begins with the hiring process. The human resource department should only hire people who are qualified and pay attention to every detail. Employees who can follow instructions are the right agents of workplace safety. Every employee should be willing to perform their duties as per the established procedures.
Deviating from the norm can be disastrous. Ensure that your employees are physically fit to handle the tasks
assigned to them. People who are responsible for hiring should consult and come up with job descriptions that prevent employees from being placed in situations where they may be prone to injuries.
2. Organise for regular meetings on workplace safety
Being over-prepared doesn’t cost you anything. In fact, it is good to be over-prepared than wait for a disaster to
strike before you start wondering what to do. Organize regular meetings with your staff and take them through the workplace safety rules.
During the meetings, insist on preventive measures that will keep the workplace safe for everyone. Let them understand the importance of safety and guide them on what they are supposed to do should something happen.
By doing so, you make everyone prepared and minimize casualties in case something that may endanger their lives happen. You should also review all the concerns that have been reported and come up with the right measure of dealing with them.
3. Keep things clean and in the right position
A safer working environment starts with a cleaner working environment. In most cases, a disorganized and disoriented workplace may lead to unnecessary accidents. Encourage the staff members to keep everything in its right place.
The boxes should be properly stacked and stored in the right places. Any spill should be cleaned up quickly. Appoint a staff member who will be walking around regularly conducting inspections and checking for any potential dangers such as misplaced tools, tangled cords, and messy floors.
4.Conduct regular training of employees on safety
Training your staff on the importance of a safe working environment is also essential. One of the best ways of securing your workplace and preventing workplace injury is through staff training. You can organize batch training whereby you train the staff members in groups to ensure that you drive the point home.
The training coordinator needs to make sure that all the staff members have access to, and complete, all the training requirements for their specific position. You should consider providing some basic self-defence tactics to your employees as part of the training. The training can be done on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually basis depending on the size of the organization.
5.Keep an open dialogue with your employees
Don’t be strict on your employees to the extent of scaring them away even if they have genuine health and safety concerns. Being friendly and keeping an open dialogue with them will help you to understand their grievances and how you can make their working place safer.
Be friendly to them and encourage them to report any hazards that they may notice. Let them assist you in identifying potential areas of concern that you may have failed to see. You should also consider appointing a safety captain among them who will communicate to you any concerns identified by the staff members
6. Develop a clear and concise plan
Every organisation needs to have a clear and well-written plan detailing what every employee should do in case there is a crisis. The written course of action needs to be included in your policies and procedural manual.
It is advisable to vet your final plan with the organisation’s legal counsel before passing it over to the staff members for internalisation. Such a plan ensures that every employee knows exactly what do in case a human-made or natural disaster strikes.
7. Set a regular maintenance schedule
This step affects particularly industrial companies that tend to run heavy machinery and equipment on a daily basis. Therefore, it is important to make sure that all machinery and related equipment is regularly checked and maintained according to a set-out company schedule.
You shouldn’t wait until the machines begin showing signs of malfunction since it may turn out to be catastrophic. Prevention is key. You should create and stick to a regular maintenance schedule that includes all the relevant items. When it comes to the time of upgrading, you should do so promptly.
8. Conduct regular safety drills
Drills are meant to test the effectiveness of your plan and the level of preparedness of the employees.
Consider conducting drills at least once every four months. Alert the employees about a planned drill and encourage them to practice what has been detailed in the plan. By doing so, you will be encouraging them to stick to your plan in case of an emergency.
9. Partner with occupational clinicians
The primary role of occupational clinicians is the prevention of workplace injury. Inviting occupational clinicians to your workplace can help in preventing injury and other workplace-related disasters. The personnel will tour your workplace and identify all the areas where they feel that there is a high risk of employee
Apart from improving workplace ergonomics, occupational clinicians can also help the hiring department to come up with job descriptions that are efficient in screening candidates for physically demanding jobs. The experts also provide the staff members with useful advice that will improve the safety of their workplace.
10. Reward employees who practice workplace safety procedures
Rewarding can go a long way in encouraging workplace safety. By giving out small incentives to employees who follow workplace safety policies to the latter can make a huge difference in reducing workplace injuries.
Our Health and Safety Essentials section carries a selection of our most requested workplace safety courses. These courses are suitable for a range of sectors and are essential in ensuring that staff are fulfilling their responsibilities under the Health & Safety at Work Act.