The safety of your employees is always a top priority. No one wants to see their staff get injured on the job, and it can be costly for a business if someone does get hurt. Here are some of the potential hazards and dangers that exist in the workplace, how you can protect your employees from them, and some general tips on how to create a safe working environment for everyone!
It’s not something that most people like to think about, but having a job can bring hazards with it. If you’re an employer, it’s your responsibility to keep your staff safe. Different kinds of jobs and workplaces bring different types of dangers with them. And some types of work naturally have a higher potential for harm than others. By identifying the dangers and having plans in place to mitigate them, you can rest assured you’re doing all you can to keep your employees safe. Not only will it protect your employees, it will show them that their safety is taken seriously. And it will protect your business from bad press and potentially costly lawsuits too.
So how do you keep your employees safe in the workplace?
Identify All The Possible Dangers
The first step to keeping your employees safe is to identify all the potential dangers that exist in your workplace. This will vary depending on the type of business you run and the work that takes place there. But some common hazards and dangers include:
- slips, trips, and falls
- electrical hazards
- manual handling risks
- dangerous machinery
- harmful substances
- fire risks
- robbery and other crimes.
Once you’ve identified all the potential dangers, you need to assess the risks they pose. Consider how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how severe the injury could be if they were. This will help you prioritize which dangers to focus on first.
Create A Safety Plan
After you’ve identified the risks, you need to put plans in place to mitigate them. This will be your safety plan. Your safety plan should detail how you will eliminate or reduce the risks in your workplace. It should also outline what procedures you will put in place if something does go wrong and someone is injured or harmed in another way.
Your safety plan should be tailored to your specific workplace and business. But some general things you might want to include are:
- risk assessments
- safe work procedures
- security guard services
- employee training
- regular safety audits and inspections
- reporting procedures for accidents and incidents.
Communicate Your Safety Plan To All Employees
Once you have your safety plan in place, it’s important to communicate it to all employees. They need to be aware of the dangers in the workplace and what they can do to stay safe.
Make sure you go over the safety plan with all new employees as part of their induction process. And make sure all current employees are aware of any changes or updates to the plan. You should also provide regular reminders and refresher training on the safety procedures.
You can communicate your safety plan to employees in a number of ways, including:
- face to face meetings
- posters and notices around the workplace
- intranet or company newsletter articles
- staff handbooks
- training sessions.
Enforce Your Safety Procedures
Once you’ve communicated your safety plan to employees, you need to make sure it’s enforced. This means ensuring all employees follow the safety procedures and report any incidents or accidents.
You can enforce your safety procedures by:
- carrying out regular audits and inspections
- having a clear reporting procedure for accidents and incidents
- disciplining employees who don’t follow the safety procedures.
Incorporate Safety Training Into Away Days and Team Building Events
One way to make sure your employees are always aware of safety procedures is to incorporate safety training into away days and team building events. This will help to refresh their memories and ensure they’re up-to-date with the latest procedures. For example, if you host a team building event, you could have an activity where employees have to identify hazards in a mock workplace. You could also use away days as an opportunity to carry out fire drills or evacuation procedures. Or if you host conference based away days, you could get a speaker in who can talk about safety from a different perspective that might resonate with your staff.
Another good idea is to hold regular safety meetings where you go over the main points of the safety plan. This is a good opportunity to get feedback from employees on any areas they’re struggling with and make sure everyone is on the same page.
It’s an often missed part of having a safety plan in the workplace, but telling staff how the ongoing implementation of the plan is going is an important aspect of it. Many people worry about creating negative internal PR by telling staff about incidents that happen. But remember that the internal rumor mill usually shares incidents and accidents anyway. By being honest about things that have happened in the workplace, and communicating what you did about them, you actually build up a lot more trust with your employees. And it’s an effective way to remind people about what the safety procedures are at the same time.
By following these steps, you can create a safe workplace for your employees. And by taking action to identify and mitigate the risks, you can protect your staff and your business.