Maintaining an important level of safety at work is one of the basic rights your employees need to do their job. Working in an unsafe environment is not only dangerous for your workers, but it is also a problem for you and your company. Despite the fact that you don’t want anyone to get injured in your business, any injury due to unsafe practices could spell a costly lawsuit for any employer. Here are some of the ways you can improve your safety for your employees.
Start a Comprehensive Training Course for Your Employees
One of the first things you should be doing to improve the safety of your workers is to start a training course to teach them about safety in the workplace. All new employees along with all your current staff should have this training. You need to give them the correct reporting procedures to use if they encounter something that is unsafe, and they must be told the correct way to use the equipment they use. Safety is also about how they look after their workstations, they must be told to keep their areas clean and tidy, and spot checks need to be carried out for those who are ignoring the training.
Review Your Safety Procedures
An important part of training your employees in the area of safety is to make sure your procedures are up to date and still relevant. They should be reviewed every few months and when new machinery is brought into the company. You should be looking at your risk assessments to see if they need to be rewritten or amended. If you are uncertain about what areas you need to improve, then there are outside companies that can come in and help you identify where you need to concentrate your efforts.
As well as a comprehensive group training course, some of your workers may also need individual training if they are dealing with dangerous machinery or chemicals. In these situations, they should be taught both theory and practical safety regarding their work and given the correct safety equipment for their job. For new staff, starting this job or starting at your company, they should be given this training before they can start working. Employees should be encouraged to insist on the correct training and alert managers to anyone that isn’t working safely. You need to tell your workers that safety isn’t just safe or not safe, there are gray areas that sometimes relate to different people. Even someone doing the same job can have different needs when it comes to safety.
Hire the Right People
If you need new staff, it can be easy to choose people quickly rather than those that have experience. Although this can take longer to find the right person, in the end, it will make the safety of your company stronger. For example, if you are looking for a forklift driver, then you want to hire someone with experience and the relevant safety training already given. It means that you only need to give them the general training and top up any gaps they have in the future. Not only will experienced staff be safer, but they will also pick up the job quicker and need less monitoring.
Reward Good Safety
Employees will usually respond best to praise, and reward as opposed to lectures, this means you should be praising and rewarding those staff that actively promote safety in the workplace. If any of your managers see someone who is working safely and doing their job well, then they should be put forward for a prize. It could be an additional day off, or perhaps some shopping vouchers. Not only will this please the workers that are working safely, but it should also hopefully encourage the rest of the workforce to follow.
Provide a Safe Working Environment
You cannot expect your staff to work safely if the building they are using is unsafe. As well as teaching your workers to be safe, you also need to make sure that your company is practicing safe procedures as well. Go through the whole company and see if any safety issues need to be addressed. Are there cables running across the floor? Are there boxes in the gangways? These questions will need to be asked and remedies put in place as soon as possible. You should even think about areas such as the elevators. You can purchase elevator padding that not only protects people inside the elevator but also protects products from becoming damaged in transit.
Encourage Employee Involvement
One way that you can encourage your workers to be more interested in safety is to involve them in the process. Hold meetings about safety at work or as part of a general meeting. Ask them if they have seen any safety issues while working or if they can see where something can be made safer. You can even have a special award of some other form of recognition for their help to encourage others to do the same. It is important, however, that if suggestions or ideas are put forward by the staff, that they are fully considered.
Safety Isn’t a One Size Fits All
When you are thinking about the safety of your workers, you have to realize that not everyone fits the same model. Just because you have safety measures in place, you still need to consider individual needs as well. For example, someone in a wheelchair or who is deaf will have different safety concerns than someone who isn’t. It may be that you need to create a separate risk assessment for anyone with additional needs so that their safety is properly assessed.
Taking your workers safety seriously is hugely important, it means that you are being a responsible employer and are concerned about those who work for you. Having the right procedures in place, tailored to your worker’s individual needs is what will make your company well respected and safe.
About: Steve Conway is a content marketing professional and inbound marketing expert. Previously, Steve worked as a marketing manager for a tech software start-up. He is passionate about discovering new software that will that will advance his already well-honed digital marketing techniques.