Workplace safety is one of the most important things your business can focus on, but it’s something a lot of employees aren’t aware of. We get it — there’s so much else going on every single day that it can be tough to get employees to rally around workplace safety.
But you could save your company time, money, and even lives by having a workplace safety plan in place.
According to OSHA, the following were the top 10 most frequently cited standards in fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018):
- Fall protection, construction
- Hazard communication standard, general industry
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
- Respiratory protection, general industry
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
- Ladders, construction
- Powered industrial trucks, general industry
- Fall Protection–Training Requirements
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements
- Eye and Face Protection
But any type of company can see hazardous conditions on any given day. Here are some workplace safety tips to keep your employees (and your business) safe.
- Create a culture of communication. Communicate the importance of workplace safety to your team and encourage them to come forward with any concerns. In addition, encourage them to report incidents as soon as they notice them and speak up in order to create a safe workplace for the rest of the team. Companies that have open communication policies and create environments where employees feel like they can report issues are better places to work. By focusing on communicating this importance, you can increase awareness and prevent future incidents.
- Take regular breaks. Especially if you work in the construction industry or if your employees are operating heavy machinery, when workers are tired, they’re more prone to incidents. Even in offices without any seemingly dangerous circumstances, when one’s awareness is dampened by exhaustion, disaster can easily strike. Ensure your employees are getting enough rest, that they’re coming to work refreshed every day, and that they’re encouraged to speak up if they feel that they cannot safely perform their duties.
- Create stress-reducing initiatives. Speaking of taking regular breaks, another factor that can severely inhibit someone’s ability to work safely is stress. The American Physiology Association has linked job stress to things such as health problems, burnout, and accidents. Talk with your employees regularly, conduct surveys, and make sure you have various initiatives in place to give employees a place to go if they’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
- Create and communicate emergency protocols. When we think of workplace safety, we typically picture someone slipping on a wet surface or struggling with heavy machinery. But what about natural disasters or other emergencies? Would your employees know what to do if a fire or flood hit your place of work today? What if there was another emergency such as an active shooter or intruder? A safe workplace has protocols in place for any potential emergency, and these should be clearly communicated to each employee.
- Ask your employees what they need. Do you have employees complaining about back or neck pain from sitting at a desk all day? Do you have employees with knee injuries due to the shoes they’re required to wear onsite? Survey your employees and regularly improve your workplace environment, including things like desks, uniforms, keyboards, and even lighting.
Investing some time upfront can save you not only time and money, but also the lives of your employees. Communicate with your employees regularly and ensure they know what can be done to create a safe environment in which to work. Need some help managing and empowering your people? That’s what we’re here for. Check out our people and payroll solutions here.