Lowkey Ways You May Be Endangering Your Employees' Wellbeing — and How to Fix Them

Although you might not realize it, there may be any number of habits you are doing, or even ignoring, that may be putting your staff at unnecessary risk. Some of these practices are more dangerous than others, and some are really a matter of perspective. The one factor they all have in common, however, is the fact that all of them can have a negative effect on workplace productivity.

1. Overlooking the Health of Your Workers

While there are good leaders and there are bad leaders, nobody would knowingly encourage their team to live an unhealthy lifestyle. After all, the success of your staff will certainly reflect back onto your own reputation and triumph. Regardless, you might be promoting unhealthy living without even realizing it.

You might think it’s a nice gesture to provide lunch for your employees and, in theory, it is. However, bringing in several boxes of pizza as opposed to healthier options such as sandwiches, salads and fruit or vegetable spreads will actually have a detrimental effect on your staff. In fact, some sources report that only 21 percent of all adults are currently eating the recommended amount of fruit on a daily basis.

If you insist on providing unhealthy food as a means of rewarding your team, try to explain the potential health risks beforehand. Moreover, make sure to offer healthier alternatives, including dishes for vegetarians, if applicable.

2. Relying on Temporary Fixes as Long-Term Solutions

Nearly all of us have seen temporary fixes implemented in the workplace. As a good rule of thumb, if the fix involves duct or electrical tape, it’s probably not meant for long-term use. Not only is such hardware bound to break or malfunction again in the future, but it could even be hazardous to the health or safety of your staff.

As such, it’s important that you correct and upgrade any temporary fixes to long-term solutions. Repairing any buttons or switches, including the wiring within, can help prevent electrical hazards and even fires. Defunct moving parts or machinery should be restored as soon as possible, and anything that has been repaired, either with tape, glue or another substance, should be replaced in a timely manner.

3. Ignoring Uncommon Workplace Hazards

Most of us put in a lot of effort when it comes to minimizing workplace hazards on behalf of our staff. Although we tend to spend a lot of time identifying and correcting the most common dangers, some of us have a tendency to overlook some of the smaller ones. Some hazards go completely unnoticed altogether.

This is why it’s critical to maintain regular inspection and maintenance schedules. When performing inspections, try to look for skid-proof floors, heavy items that are stacked too high and even blind spots near routes for pedestrian traffic or other machinery.

According to some sources, hand injuries are the fourth most common injury in the workplace today. This only underscores the importance of ensuring your employees wear gloves when necessary, avoid pinch points and use all hand tools properly. If in an office environment, provide ergonomic accessories like wrist pads, keyboards and mice.

4. Failing to Accommodate Sick Leave or Vacation Time

There are some hardnosed business leaders that would rather see their staff working through illness than taking any amount of time off. Some unscrupulous managers have even gone so far as to deny their employees the sick time or vacation leave they’ve earned. Not only does this often result in a bit of animosity, but communicable diseases, such as the common cold or even the flu, can be spread to the rest of your staff quite easily.

For most of us, it’s easy to see how an issue like this could get out of hand. To avoid any epidemics, try maintaining a little more flexibility when it comes to sick leave. Proactive and innovative leaders might even offer employees the opportunity to work from home, but this isn’t a viable solution with every company.

5. Making Employees Sit or Stand for Extended Periods

If you’ve spent any amount of time in an office setting, you’ve probably experienced more than your fair share of sitting at a desk. Conversely, those who work in industries such as manufacturing are probably used to standing on a production line all day. While these nuances are easily overlooked by both the workers themselves and their supervisors, such habits can be incredibly hazardous to the health of your workforce over the course of time.

Per a recent report by Employers, 77 percent of the small businesses surveyed do not currently offer alternative forms of seating, which includes furniture such as standup and treadmill desks, balance balls and even various stools. For employees who are constantly on their feet, simply offering padded flooring or cushioned footwear can go a long way in increasing their comfort and health, and, as a result, their productivity.

Monitoring and Identifying Hazards in the Future

Now that you have better insight into some hidden workplace hazards as well as some of your own harmful habits, it’s time to rectify them immediately and utilize these techniques to safeguard your workplace in the future.

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