With the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating that there were 3 million non-fatal injuries on the job in 2014, you can’t afford to overlook workplace safety.
Workplace safety matters – here’s why, and what you can do about it.
Safety is a Top Priority
Workplace safety is a top priority for your business.
With the Economic Policy Institute noting that workplace injuries and illnesses cost American businesses $250 billion annually, it’s clear that ignoring workplace safety could cost your business.
Workplace injuries can cost you in different ways:
- Money for treatment;
- Money for compensation;
- Money lost if an employee needs time off;
- The cost of training a new staff member if illness or injury is long term;
- Lack of efficiency as staff try to cover the work of their absent colleague;
- Rising insurance costs if accidents are too frequent.
An unimpressive health and safety record will also bring down employee morale, and could damage your reputation as an employee.
Assess Your Workplace Thoroughly
Whether your premises are an office or a construction site, good safety begins with a thorough knowledge of your workplace and its potential hazards.
As the article “5 Simple Ways to Stay Safe on the Job” says, staying aware of your surroundings is vital.
By taking a good look at your surroundings, you can assess potential risks and decide on a course of action.
When assessing your workplace, some key things to look out for include:
- Slip, trip or fall risks such as uneven floors, loose carpets, or slippery surfaces;
- Spills that are left unchecked;
- Trailing leads or wires;
- Storage spaces that require heavy lifting, reaching or bending in order to reach desired items;
- Items at risk of falling;
- Old or unsafe electrical fittings;
- Ergonomic hazards such as badly set up workstations or lack of natural light;
- Blocked walkways, unclear thoroughfares, or blind corners.
Be thorough and take a note of all potential workplace hazards.
Take Action for Safety
Once you’ve thoroughly assessed your workplace, it’s time to draw up an action plan.
Don’t leave workplace safety to chance, or put it off till another time. The longer a hazard is left unchecked, the more likely it is to cause a problem.
For every potential hazard you find, draw up a plan of how to deal with it.
Depending on what you find you might need to:
- Clear walkways or thoroughfares;
- Replace office furniture or set up better workstations;
- Replace electricals;
- Hide wires;
- Improve heating, lighting or ventilation;
- Provide better lifting aids such as stools;
- Keep work areas cleaner;
- Use tape to mark step edges, place mirrors in blind corners, or put up warning signs;
- Clear outside areas of ice or snow;
- Re-arrange storage areas.
There are many ways to improve safety in the workplace.
Pinpoint the potential hazards in your business, and take all necessary steps to mitigate them.
Encourage a Culture of Safety
Make safety an ongoing priority for your business by encouraging a culture of safety in the workplace.
Start with employee education.
You might consider arranging a safety seminar, or even bringing in outside trainers to teach your employees more about safety.
Make sure you have an up to date safety hand book, and invest in signs to point out potential hazards so your employees are aware of their safety and surroundings as they go about their tasks.
Encourage a culture of safety by modeling good lifting, proper workstation setup, and proper handling of hazards for your team.
Workplace safety is a top priority.
Put your focus on it today to keep your workplace and your employees healthy and safe.