In 2019, there were 5333 fatal work-related injuries in the USA, up by two percent from the previous years. Similarly, the private industry workers incurred 2.8 million injuries in 2019. These figures are alarming. Workplace safety needs to be paid attention to. As a business owner, you need to have a workplace safety culture. This includes spreading awareness about workplace safety among your employees, surveying the workplace environment for hazards, and solving the root cause of injuries. These tips can help you create a workplace culture where safety is the top priority:
Train your employees
A major cause of workplace accidents is that the employees are trained enough to perform their tasks safely. This can lead to employees being unable to handle tools and machinery or take the necessary precautions before, during, and after a task. This eventually can lead to unwanted situations.
Thus, new employees should be taught by an experienced trainer how to perform their work duties safely. The trainer should supervise the new employees at all times until they are confident enough of performing the tasks on their own without any issues. Similarly, if you are starting new operations that pose a risk to employee safety, make sure that you provide adequate training beforehand.
Provide the right tools and equipment
Sometimes, injuries are caused not due to employee negligence but due to faulty tools and equipment. Thus, to enhance safety standards, provide employees tools and equipment that are properly cleaned and serviced. Similarly, provide safety equipment to your employees to protect them from accidents and injuries.
For instance, for carrying out garage door installation, ensure that the employees have the right set of tools like drilling machines, sawing, and welding equipment. Ensure that they are functioning properly. Similarly, they should have protective gear like protective goggles, hard toe shoes, and a hard hat. This will help protect employees from any unwanted incidents.
Have signage and instructions put up
Put up labels, warning signs, and safety instructions throughout the workplace. These provide a cheap and effective way to provide important safety information to the employees. They can remind employees of the safety hazards and proper working procedures to be followed. They can also help provide safety instructions to be followed in case of an emergency. For example, you can have signage showing directions to be followed in case of a fire or contact numbers of medical professionals at the workplace.
Carry out inspections
You should carry out periodic inspections at the work to ensure that the employees are working in a safe environment. Have a detailed inspection, especially of high-risk areas, and review work procedures. Make changes to the workplace or standard operating procedures in a manner that they enhance workplace safety. Similarly, make sure that the employees are aware of safety protocols at the workplace and the actions they need to take in case of an emergency.
Provide stretch breaks
Continuously working for a long time can be physically and mentally draining. This can hamper your employees’ focus and concentration levels. This may lead to the employee getting injured. To overcome this challenge, you can provide periodic stretch breaks to your employees. These breaks are an easy and effective way to improve employee health and workplace safety standards.
Stretching can help ease muscle tension and fatigue, reducing the chances of repetition motion injuries. Similarly, these breaks also serve as an excellent medium to relax mentally, gather focus, and resume working with increased concentration levels. A five to ten-minute stretch break every hour and a half will suffice.
Gather employee feedback
One of the easiest ways to improve workplace safety is by having open communication with the employees. You need to gather detailed feedback from them regarding the workplace safety standards. Ask them how they will rate the current safety standards and how they can be improved further. Implement their feedback and make the changes accordingly.
If you don’t have the time to gather and implement feedback and suggestions, you can appoint a safety officer. The officer can be the communicating link between you and the employees. He will be responsible to analyze, manage and oversee the safety requirements at the workplace.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to provide employees with a safe workplace. Use these simple and effective tips to get started on creating a workplace safety culture that can lead to a safe, healthy, and productive work environment. You can make additions to your workplace safety program based on the safety standards and keep improving till you reach the highest levels of safety at the workplace.