Prevent unwanted work-related injuries, unexpected events and help employees see success. All these can be achieved when you manage employee risks in the workplace.
Risk managers implement mitigation policies that prevent unwanted events or injuries in the workplace. Likewise, they also make sure that employees and the whole organization see success. This is the reason why risk management becomes an essential part of any organization.
The role of risk management goes beyond safety issues. As they actively identify problematic areas all over the organization, their job is to make sure that these problems are properly addressed and prevent them from recurring. As a result, employees receive the benefits especially in high-risk industries like construction.
Likewise, risk management tends to lessen the risk of unexpected events and injuries as well as produce financial benefits. It also saves time and energy, improves communication, enhances company culture, and better company-wide decision making, among others. With that said, here are 5 tips to manage employee risk.
1. Determine the risks involved
Risks are part of our everyday life. But that doesn’t mean you ignore it. Risks that pose physical injuries or illness to employees need to be addressed as soon as possible. That means all information related to risks in the workplace like production design, workplace reports, incident reports, etc. should be reviewed and taken action.
Here are some of the most common risks in the workplace:
- Extreme noise
- Slips, trips, and falls caused by unreliable stair height, uneven and unsuitable floors and surfaces, volatile cable, etc.
- Equipment-related accidents
2. Implement suitable precautions
Once you determine the risks involved can you implement the proper safety precautions. You can assess the risks and rate them accordingly so you can effectively determine the level of harm it can cause. Take this as an example:
- Severity of the risk – a major, moderate, or minor. Determine how serious the problem is and the potential injury and illness it can cause.
- Likelihood – high, medium or low. Rate the possibility of the hazard as well as the injury and illness it can cause
3. Establish health and safety controls
It has to be said, according to David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Engage EHS, that the responsibility for health and safety starts with the directors of a business. However, if they get this right, and instigate a cultural shift in their company, the benefits can include greater brand loyalty and a higher bottom line.
Employers are responsible for implementing control measures or entirely removing the hazards if possible. However, if it’s impossible to eliminate them, controls and equipment should be established to reduce the risks to the employees and staff.
Furthermore, there are three types of controls than should be implemented:
Personal protective equipment
These are physical equipment to prevent employees from harm and injuries. This includes fire-proof suits, protective eyewear, etc.
These are utilization and development of the procedures including training, supervision and other preventive measures.
These are physically controlled hazards involving the proper handling of toxic chemicals, sound or noise regulations, etc.
4. Implement organization-wide controls
Risk management involves the implementation of organization-wide controls. Moreover, it’s required that these controls must be followed. For example, personal protective equipment should be used accordingly whenever an unprecedented event occurs.
Likewise, you need to assess relevant MSDS or Material Safety Data Sheets with all your employees and have it posted for everyone to see. This will ensure that everyone has access to the information.
5. Make sure that the risk assessment is updated
Workers are given the rights to refuse if they believe the work is unsafe. With that being said, the hazards and risks can be identified and determined during the risk assessment process. For this reason, such threats should be dealt with and a proper solution should be implemented.
However, this can only be effectively implemented if you have an already written risk assessment. This will also help you update the risk assessment as your organization needs it and even allow you to archive it for future reference.
Educate your employees
The workplace isn’t only threatened by external factors. In fact, employees can also feel threatened internally. These risks involve racism, sexism, bullying, xenophobia, etc. Whether we like it or not, workers constantly fight in the battle for mutual respect and equality.
Likewise, most companies consist of up to four generations working together. This often results in having a diversified attitude including challenges about culture and language. For example, one employee’s innocent comment could lead to a lawsuit.
This makes it essential for companies to place a behavioral policy put in place. Ultimately, educating your employees on a regular basis would lead to a better understanding of acceptable behavior.