Workplace safety is a No. 1 concern of every conscientious employer out there. Not only is it a way to keep everyone in the office out of harm’s way but it is also a way to avoid expensive sick leaves and even more expensive lawsuits. Still, improving workplace safety is not an easy job seeing as how there are so many different aspects to cover. Some believe that this work begins when you hire your first employee, others when you lease an office space. Regardless of the starting point, there are some areas which could always use some improvement and here are five of them.
1. Drill, drill and drill some more
The first thing you need to realize is that safety is both a responsibility and a habit. Sure, exercising drills and repeating safety procedures until your ears are bleeding may seem as pointless but what you need to understand is that this is the only way to influence the way your employees act on instinct. Some may believe that repeating once is enough for them to learn how to act in any given situation but once the alarm starts beeping, the adrenaline starts pumping and smoke envelops the room, people won’t be governed by reason but by instinct. Therefore, you need to ensure that your employees can find the safest route outside of a blazing inferno even with their eyes blindfolded.
2. Don’t promote ‘whatever it takes’ mentality
Working extra hard is a practice encouraged by most employers, yet, sometimes safety regulations are the first casualties of getting ahead of deadlines. Sometimes, your employees will deliberately sacrifice safety for the sake of efficiency and productivity. When this happens, you need to be the one to draw the line. A lot of employers embrace and even promote this ‘whatever it takes’ mentality by giving out rewards to these employees. In this way, they send the wrong message to those still playing by the book.
3. Physical safety is not the only thing that matters
A workplace injury is not the only hazard that lies dormant around offices. Sometimes, mobbing, harassment and bullying, in general, can be as dangerous. Not only do they leave mark on the employee, harming their mental health in the wrong-term, they also create a vibe that taints the entire workplace. In time, if you fail to tend to this problem in the most appropriate manner, your productivity will plummet and people will start leaving (sometimes even your top-performers). The best way to prevent this is to hire a professional workplace mediator that can recognize and handle these issues as soon as they emerge.
4. Think about the insurance
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that sometimes, a mishap is inevitable. Therefore, you need to think about the potential aftermath. As a business owner, it is your duty to provide your employees with at least some form of group insurance. Unfortunately, this is not nearly as easy as you may assume it to be, which is why you might benefit from inquiring about tips and tricks related to this topic. For instance, based on the number of your full-time employees, you might fall under a certain set of guidelines. Moreover, the type of the enterprise you run may also have an impact on this issue.
5. Regular equipment upgrade and inspection
Finally, working with broken, outdated or malfunctioning tools is one of the most common causes of the accident in the workplace. Furthermore, it is an accident for which you, as an employer, are directly responsible, which would, in turn, make you highly susceptible to a lawsuit. Needless to say, this is problematic from both professional and personal standpoints. In order to avoid this, make sure that you conduct regular equipment inspection and, if need be, upgrade your tools.
At the end of the day, safety is always paramount, regardless if you look from an ethical point of view or that of an entrepreneur. Causing harm to another human being through your lack of care is a horrifying concept and so is getting sued out of business because you paid no attention to the safety in the workplace. Sure, thinking about safety 24/7 can be exhausting but it is something you have to do regardless of the sacrifice.