No workplace can be considered usable until all necessary safety measures have been implemented. This includes everything from hard hats to employee education. There is a lot to consider, and going through all the necessary steps will take time, but your investment will pay off.
Complying with regulations is, of course, mandatory, and should be enough reason for you to make your workplace as safe as possible. But what matters more, is the wellbeing of your employees. If a worker is seriously injured, it can also harm your business’s reputation and decrease your productivity.
Here’s what you can do to ensure your workplace is a safe environment for your employees.
Depending on the work environment, a variety of different clothing and gear may be necessary. Generally speaking, clothing such as hard hats, safety footwear, gloves, visibility vests, and protective glasses are standard for workplaces with general hazards, such as construction sites.
You can see a selection of work footwear at Engelbert Strauss. This UK-based safety equipment company offers a variety of top-of-the-range safety boots and work shoes. Premium materials, multiple sizing options, and affordable prices make Engelbert Strauss’ work footwear perfect for any business. The more stylish options also work great for the office.
More extreme environments often demand more equipment. This includes additions such as radiation and UV light protection, respiratory masks and hearing protectors. Assess your premises, obtain feedback from your employees, and find out exactly what equipment they need in order to be as safe as possible.
As a leader, you need to let your employees know that they are an important part of the safety programme. If they feel more involved, they will likely do a better job at adhering to the rules. This is beneficial for you, as the chances of an accident happening are less likely when everyone is making sure to take care of themselves.
In order to better understand which safety measures still need to be put in place, create a survey for your employees to fill out. After all, nobody knows the workplace better than them. Some businesses even have a Safety Committee, which takes things a step further.
Many types of safety equipment require training on their correct usage. These courses and guides are often mandatory with legal obligations for you to educate your employees on correctly using their equipment. Take some time to ensure that your employees know how to clean, store and generally care for their gear as well.
In the long run, this will save you financially as you won’t have to re-purchase new equipment as often.
Many businesses turn a blind eye to substance abuse, with the excuse that it’s a personal problem. This is nothing more than a lawsuit waiting to happen. It should be made clear that drug and alcohol abuse on the premises is strictly prohibited and has significant consequences.
Enforcing this rule is not too difficult. Testing should be done before hiring, after accidents, at random intervals and whenever there is reasonable suspicion. Regarding random testing, ensure that you’re doing it as carefully and considerately as possible. The last thing you want is a discrimination charge that you can’t fight.
Safe Premises Design
There are countless risks that a workplace faces which could damage or destroy its integrity. Ensuring that your premises are designed with maximum safety in mind could just save a life one day. Designating proper emergency exits should be your first step. Set up the occasional fire drill to ensure your employees know where the exits are and how to reach them quickly.
You will also need to install as many fire extinguishers as possible from the beginning. Fire is a risk that almost every building will face, not to mention the importance of having fire retardants on hand for anything that happens outside the premises. Additional measures such as smoke detectors and sprinklers should also be installed.
By building a safe workplace, you’re not only doing your employees a huge favor but yourself as well. There will inevitably come a time when inspections will be carried out on your premises. Small improvements such as rubber padding on the ends of steps, extra pathways and non-slip flooring will go a long way in helping you pass these inspections.
Once you feel like you’ve taken all the necessary measures and implemented all the required upgrades and equipment, it’s time to carry out the occasional check-up. Is the workplace clean? Are the employees wearing all their gear, and is the gear in good condition? Do the emergency exit lights, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, etc. all still work?
It will take some time to get everything under control and cover all aspects of workplace safety, but it always pays off in the end. Building a safe environment for your employees is an investment that no business should go without.