In any industry, workplace safety is essential to protecting your employees. While safety training can sometimes be seen as a dull topic, there are several reasons why business owners should keep it top-of-mind. Neglecting safety procedures can not only lead to employee injuries, but also increased workers’ compensation costs, as well as staffing issues.
While accidents do happen, and sometimes there is nothing that can be done to avoid them, there are proactive steps that you can take to reduce the chance of injury at your workplace. Here are five tips to help create a safer environment at your place of work.
1. Make Time for Employee Training
Educating employees on proper equipment usage and procedures is a clear first step to keeping them safe. After educating employees on proper equipment usage and emergency procedures, instructions should be kept in an easily accessible area. Safety checklists can be helpful for some machinery or appliances. Periodically offer refresher courses to keep employees engaged.
2. Prevent Slips and Trips
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27% of nonfatal work injuries in 2018 were related to slips, trips, and falls. To reduce trips, keep walkways clear of clutter, and avoid running cables across walkways. Keeping your workplace well lit can illuminate tripping hazards or uneven surfaces. Immediately wipe up spills or slick areas.
3. Regularly Maintain Your Building
Keep parking lots clear of snow and ice. Make sure your building has proper ventilation, and routinely clean air ducts. Have your electrical equipment regularly inspected by a qualified individual.
4. Restrict Equipment Usage
Only allow employees who have been properly trained to operate heavy machinery. Ensure that vehicles and machines are being regularly maintained.
5. Wear Protective Gear
While some worksites immediately come to mind when we think about protective gear (like construction) others are not so obvious. Think about the daily routine of your employees, and what gear could protect them from injury. If they are using loud equipment or need to be in a noisy environment, you might consider ear protection. If they are around rolling or moving equipment such as hand trucks or wheelchairs, you might consider requiring closed toed shoes or steel toe boots.
By educating your employees, maintaining your building and property, restricting equipment usage, and requiring protective gear, you can create a culture of safety wherever you work.