According to the World Health Organization (WHO), workers are continuously exposed to a wide range of occupational health risks. These workplace-based health hazards include noise, injuries, carcinogens, ergonomic hazards, and airborne diseases.
Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed that with due diligence and strict implementation of health and safety protocols, it’s highly likely to dramatically lower the risks of injuries and health hazards in workplaces. In fact, OSHA said, death and injuries in the workplace have plummeted by over 60 percent some four decades after the OSHA Law was implemented.
With these facts laid out before you, it should be more than enough motivation to enforce comprehensive and strict workplace health and safety measures to ensure your workers’ well-being. And part of that plan should be some efforts to eliminate any health hazards in your workplace that could make your employees call in sick the following day.
Here are six things that you can do to keep your workers from getting sick at the workplace:
1. Have your HVAC system regularly serviced
Many workplace-related health problems happen due to poor ventilation. It could be that the site is too hot with little fresh air coming in or there is hardly any air conditioning to cool the place down and make work conducive for employees. Another possible reason for workers getting sick in the workplace is due to the poor maintenance of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system of the site.Knowing this, you have to call in the professionals to pay you a visit on set schedules to do some air duct cleaning and similar HVAC system maintenance jobs. By getting the air ducts, air conditioning units, and air filters clean, you can expect to lower the risks of dust and other allergens making your office-based personnel ill.
2. Establish a functional health and safety committee
Another essential step that you have to take is establishing a functional health and safety committee in charge of crafting workplace health and safety-related protocols, orienting all employees about such rules, implementing the health and safety provisions in the approved plan, and monitoring their implementation and progress. This committee has to meet on an agreed-upon frequency (preferably at least once a month) to discuss issues and updates concerning the plan’s implementation.
3. Install handwashing stations
Even before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and health advocates have been trumpeting the need for and benefits of proper and frequent handwashing. With the deadly virus transmitting through touchpoints and even through micro-droplets in the air, it’s all the more urgent to have protocols and facilities in place that would promote handwashing in workplaces.That said, you should invest in putting signage and handwashing facilities in strategic areas around your workplace, whether office-based or outdoors. These investments won’t cost too much, and the benefit of having healthy and productive employees makes it a wise move on your end.
4. Provide vitamins and health supplements
Work can be quite stressful on some days. This stress level can be worsened by the health hazards present in the workplace. With such variables coming into play, workers eventually end up getting sick and calling the day off, sometimes even lasting for weeks. And you know too well how one sick employee could hamper your business productivity on any given day, more so if the employee is sick for weeks on end. One way of proactively handling the possibility of workers getting sick at work is to provide them with vitamins and health supplements. Taking them regularly is one of the best ways of boosting one’s immune system, which is something that you all need in the workplace.
5. Install safety reminders in strategic areas
There are times when an absent-minded employee can forget the health and safety protocols in place and do something that compromises his or her safety and those of other workers. You can easily avoid such a scenario by placing safety reminders in key areas around your worksite. This way, there would be no excuse for any worker not to follow the protocols in place.
6. Provide enough shade and hydration stations (for outdoor workplaces)
If you have workers who are constantly working under the heat of the sun, you should provide them with ample shade and hydration stations to avoid heat stroke or fainting. These sources of shade can be trees or pop-up tents close to where field workers are doing their tasks. The hydration facilities should be co-located with the shaded areas, so workers can quickly enjoy a nourishing drink to fight heat exhaustion.
Just follow these steps to make your workplace more conducive and healthier for your workers.