Being compliant with local and national laws is a legal and moral obligation for employers, but safety in the work environment might be even more important than simply following rules. A safe workplace is a happy one as well. Not only does prioritizing safety allow you to protect yourself and your employees, but it also creates a conducive and comfortable environment where workers can complete their jobs effectively. Evidently, focusing on workplace safety comes with a number of benefits, so here are some of the most essential steps you need to take if you’d like to create a safer work environment for you and your workers:
Eliminate workplace hazards
To ensure the work environment is as safe as possible, it needs to comply with OSHA rules, regulations, and standards (or a local equivalent). The workplace should also be clean at all times, and kept free from known chemical and physical hazards. Make it a point to remind your workers regularly of necessary protective equipment, machine safety, proper body mechanics, and ways of avoiding trips, slips, and falls. Above all, it’s important to foster open and honest communication, and encourage all workers to report potential safety issues and violations as soon as they are noticed.
Ensure workers are trained
It’s also crucial to provide safety training to all employees, using clear and simple language everyone can understand. Every new worker should be given extensive safety training that includes safe handling of tools and machinery, safe working practices, and how to keep the work environment clean and hazard-free. Existing employees can also be offered refresher courses occasionally, or be required to undergo safety training once again when they change roles within the company. Emails and electronic message boards can be used for reinforcing safety training, being delivered in shorter messages.
Provide safety equipment
Regardless of the workplace, it’s your legal obligation to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets, goggles, hearing protection, and work boots to your employees, in order to protect them from any hazards in the workplace. However, equipping your workers with quality men’s workwear is just as important. From utility pants and overalls to reflective t-shirts and hi-vis vests, the right workwear ensures comfort and a proper fit. In turn, this offers physical protection and minimizes the risks of loose clothing getting caught in machinery, thus increasing the safety of your employees.
Offer visual safety aids
If you want to make sure safety is always a priority, place safety posters around the workplace, and use signs, labels, and color codes to warn workers of potential hazards. It might also be wise to utilize digital signage for broadcasting important messages, updates, and information regarding workplace safety in real-time. Although this visual aide is mostly used for safety tips and reminders, it can be especially helpful for displaying warnings quickly in emergency situations, particularly in those areas where computers and mobile phones aren’t allowed.
Hold regular safety meetings
It might also be a good idea to hold company-wide safety meetings each month in an effort to get feedback from your employees. Their insights are quite valuable when it comes to pointing out potential hazards that might have gone unnoticed and sharing new suggestions for improving overall safety. Similarly, establishing a health and safety committee for the workplace consisting of various roles and departments could also be of help. They can perform regular inspections, keep track of statistics, keep everyone informed about important safety topics, and take care of other safety-related issues.
Safety in the workplace is vital to the health and well-being of everyone involved. Build a strong company culture and incorporate safety into it using the helpful tips above, and ensure a safer, more secure work environment for all.