Workplace safety should always be one of the top priorities for any business owner, manager, foreman, or HR professional – especially if they work in an environment that poses many hazards to workers, such as toxic waste, industrial machinery, chemical gasses, and hot surfaces.
Keeping employees safe is achievable, luckily. With the right safety measures and precautions – and a little bit of helpful, innovative tech – achieving a safe workplace is a goal that you can attain.
The question many managers wonder about, though, is how? We will guide you through 7 steps you can utilize today to keep your employees safe.
Start with mandatory safety training
Employees won’t know how to perform their jobs safely without appropriate training. Different jobs often require different safety policy profiles; for instance, a construction worker and a chemical engineer doing lab work are likely both at risk of workplace injury, but from very different sources.
As part of your onboarding process, always include mandatory safety training, including assessments that let you know whether a new employee is ready to face the real-world dangers of life on the job. Follow up with once or twice-yearly safety training for all employees too, to ensure they remember how to adhere to all protocols. You can also enroll some key personnel to take a first aid course to make sure there are people that know how to respond to medical emergencies.
According to David Rowland, Head of Digital Marketing at Eco Online, “As with risk assessments, safe systems of work (SSoW) are often overly generic and inadequately reviewed.
For safety-critical operations, documenting your SSoW makes it easier to review, share and use as a training aid.”
Perform regular safety policy compliance checks
In addition to regular retraining for employees, it’s important to regularly perform compliance checks on all safety protocols. Managers or foremen should be required to do the rounds at least once or twice a day and make sure that nothing seems unsafe – like a worker going out on a risky ladder, or forgetting to wear goggles.
Be sure to include a system that rewards employees when they perform all due diligence regarding safety measures, and successfully keep themselves and their coworkers safe.
Invest in keeping machinery safe for employees
Industrial machinery is one of the leading causes of workplace injury, and damaged, broken, or malfunctioning injury is often the culprit. Workers following safety protocols still can’t prevent disaster if the forklift they’re operating happens to break.
In order to avoid this, invest time, money, and personnel into maintaining all machinery to proper operational standards.
This may seem expensive, but it will pay for itself in the long term – lawsuits and medical bills often cost much more than hiring a mechanic a few times a year.
Coordinate a high-quality workers’ compensation system
Speaking of lawsuits, it’s important that, if a worker is injured, you have a clear system in place to protect them and your company while providing them with the compensation and medical care they deserve.
Workers comp management software systems are new tech platforms that make this easier, streamlining your worker’s comp policies and ensuring that the right money and care makes it to workers who need it while protecting you from liability where you are not at fault.
Stay on the pulse of new safety regulations
Safety regulations are a regular feature of many industries. And, as new information about workplace dangers is discovered, new regulations are passed by local and federal governments.
In order to keep employees safe, and keep your company safe from lawsuits and shut-downs, be sure that you always read up on the latest developments in workplace safety regulations.
It may even be worth it to hire on a legal consultant who can help you interpret regulations and apply them to your workplace – that way, you always know you’re fully in compliance.
Listen to employees to find out what their top concerns are
Employees often know better than anyone which parts of their job is especially dangerous. If any of the workers in your factory complain that a certain machine is particularly dangerous, for instance, be sure that you listen to them and have it fixed ASAP.
Responsiveness to your employees is one of the most important ways that you can build trust with them while also basing your safety policies on their lived experience and on-the-job knowledge.
Invest in top-notch health insurance plans
Unfortunately, accidents do sometimes happen. For that, it’s vital that you invest in top-shelf insurance plans for employees. This will give them some peace of mind while also helping them get back to work more quickly – and earning value for your company – if they are injured on the job.
Remember: no matter what line of work you are in, workplace safety and security management should always be your number 1 priority.