In 2020, more than 4000 fatal work injuries were recorded in the US. Besides harming employees, these injuries have a huge impact on a business. They reduce productivity and staff morale and cause a loss of reputation.
Also, these workplace accidents have huge financial implications for the company. In case of a lawsuit, the employer might be held liable and pay the compensation. However, you can avoid these accidents by enhancing workplace safety.
But how do you ensure a safe work environment? Here are seven workplace safety tips you can implement.
1. Implement a Safety and Wellness Plan
Developing an effective wellness plan is the key to a safe work environment. It creates awareness about the hazards in the workplace. And highlights control measures to prevent them.
To create a good wellness plan, first, know the hazards in your workplace. You can do the following to identify all the dangers.
- Look at injury and accident records
- Observe the physical work environment, equipment, and materials
- Identify hazards involved with emergency and non-routine activities
- Inspect the work environment for safety hazards
- Conduct incident investigations
Once you know all the perils, devise ways to prevent accidents at work. Then, develop a comprehensive wellness plan and share it with your staff.
The plan will encourage workers to report possible risks and know how to deal with them when they occur. Also, it’ll promote employee safety and reduce worker’s comp
2. Screen New Hires Properly
Many workplace accidents occur due to a lack of skills and expertise to handle the tasks. So, it’s good to screen new hires properly to know their abilities. This helps to assign them tasks that match their skill-sets.
Conduct pre-placement physicals if the position you want to fill involves:
- Exposure to chemicals and other hazardous materials
- Strenuous activities
- Handling dangerous tools and equipment
- Performing specialized tasks
This ensures you hire skilled employees who can safely perform the job.
Pre-employment physicals might include things like:
- Drug and alcohol screening
- Cardiac stress tests
- Physical exams
- Hearing and vision tests
- Pull and grip strength tests
- Medical history reviews
These physicals aren’t only for new hires but also for workers who return after a long leave. They should be done annually to determine if the workers are still fit for the job.
Employers should also give workplace safety advice to the employees to enlighten them.
3. Educate and Train Employees
Untrained employees injure not only themselves but also their co-workers. They engage in risky practices that endanger everyone in the company. Hence, it’s crucial to train and educate your staff to keep the workplace safe.
First, educate employees on potential safety hazards involved with their jobs. Then, teach them the safety procedures that can help them prevent the risks. This protects employees from harm and you from a potential lawsuit.
Also, it’s ideal for training workers about how to properly use the equipment for work. This keeps employees safe during work reducing compensation claims.
After training and education, ensure your workers can:
- Identify potential hazards in their line of work
- Detail the ways to prevent or eliminate those hazards
- Explain procedures to handle accidents if they occur
This improves workplace safety and minimizes risks of injuries.
In addition to training, you can encourage employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can get a professional to educate them on how to relieve stress and maintain a work-life balance.
4. Ensure Regular Communication
Effective communication plays a key role in enhancing workplace safety. It helps employees track what’s going on in their workplaces. So, they can inform others when a hazard is approaching to take the right measures.
Hence, it’s important to implement a work culture that promotes active communication. You can create groups and other chatting spaces to engage employees.
Also, you can create protocols for sharing safety and company procedures. If you change safety protocols, communicate the changes to keep your staff updated.
5. Provide Protection Equipment
Protective gear protects workers from occupational hazards. They prevent injury from harmful corrosive if you work with chemicals. Also, they reduce the risks of illnesses and other severe damages.
Such gears might include;
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Face shroud or masks
- Helmets and gloves
- Waist belts and ear coverings
- Harnesses and reflective vests
As an employer, provide your staff with PPEs that suit their job’s nature. Besides enhancing safety, PPEs boost employees’ confidence and satisfaction. Also, they reduce employee turnover and increase efficiency.
After providing your employees with PPEs, train them on how to use and care for their equipment. Also, do unannounced safety audits to ensure they use their gears always.
6. Keep the Work Environment Clean
Having a clean workplace prevents accidents and reduces the risks of diseases. It reduces the chances of falling over scattered objects that cause injuries. So, ensure to keep your workspaces clean and organized to enhance safety.
To keep your workplace clean, you should:
- Use proper storage for every tool and equipment for work
- Get rid of the stuff that you no longer use
- Organize loose rugs, papers, and cables
Also, you can hire cleaners to clean and organize your workplace.
7. Conduct Safety Inspections
Safety inspections help to identify and record hazards for corrective action. Thus, reducing the risks of accidents, injuries, and illnesses at work.
So, employers should do regular safety inspections to keep an eye on potential risks. Also, they should provide their staff with this complete guide to workplace safety.
During inspections, they should enforce safety measures and explain their importance. Also, they should recognize and reward employees who exceed safety standards. This promotes safety behaviors among employees, enhancing their safety and wellness.
These Are Effective Workplace Safety Tips
Maintaining a safe workplace is a critical aspect of every organization. It helps prevent workplace accidents that impact productivity at work. Hence, you need to learn workplace safety tips and implement them to enjoy the benefits.
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