If you want to foster a safe work environment, you need to make a commitment to take safety seriously. Every member of the company, from the intern to the CEO, must understand that the health and safety of every worker is of the utmost importance. Every member of the company must be willing to make workplace health and safety a priority.
When you take measures to foster workplace safety, you help to keep your employees healthy, happy and on the job. The fewer injuries and illnesses your workers experience, the more productive they can be. Implementing an effective health and safety program can save your business four to six dollars for every dollar you put in. That just makes good financial sense. Plus, it’s the right thing to do. Let’s take a look at some ways you can foster a safe work environment at your company.
Use Safety Gear
Proper safety gear is imperative if you hope to foster a safe and healthy environment for your workers. Construction workers need hard hats, lab workers need safety goggles and rubber gloves, fire fighters need flame-retardant clothes and police officers need bulletproof vests.
You might not be running a lab, fire station or police force, but that doesn’t mean your workers don’t need safety gear too. Restaurant workers need slip-resistant shoes and the thick fabric of a chef’s coat to protect him or her from the heat of the stove. Office workers need ergonomic work stations. Cleaners ought to wear knee pads when they kneel down to scrub floors. Every job has its hazards. Find out what they are and what gear your employees need to protect themselves from occupational injury or illness.
Make sure your employees use their safety gear, too. It won’t do any good if they just toss it aside. Make it a matter of company policy. Put up signs and have your managers and supervisors take pains to enforce the regulations.
Maintain the Premises
Get your building inspected regularly to make sure that no new hazards emerge to threaten your workers. Find ways to improve the safety of the premises. Rubber padding on stairway steps, rock salt on wintry outdoor walkways or rubber mats to prevent falls can all go a long way toward keeping your employees safe.
Obey Health Codes
Of course health code standards are important, but it can be hard to get employees to follow health codes of which they’re not aware. That’s why you see notices in public restrooms advising employees to wash their hands. Find out what the health codes are in your area and post notices in the workplace. Simply encouraging your employees to wash their hands regularly can go a long way toward preventing the spread of illness and keeping everyone in the workplace healthy. Post tips for effective hand washing in company restrooms.
Perform Emergency Drills
Your place of business should have multiple clearly-labeled emergency exits, and you should take the time to have regular emergency drills. It might seem like a pain in the neck and a waste of company time, but emergency drills help all of your employees familiarize themselves with the locations of the emergency exits and the emergency exiting procedure. Holding a regular drill helps ensure that your employees will be able to stay calm in an emergency situation, and exit the building in an orderly fashion. Regular emergency drills save lives.
In addition to regular emergency drills, make a clear map of emergency exits available to all employees. Keep your smoke detectors up-to-date and loaded with fresh batteries. Install fire extinguishers and sprinklers. Follow your local fire codes when installing emergency equipment.
Get Everyone Involved
Workplace health and safety are crucial to keeping your employees happy and your company running smoothly. Make sure you abide by all local workplace safety regulations and post your company’s health and safety policy where everyone can see it. Get your employees involved to implement and improve the health and safety policies. You, your workers and your whole company will benefit from health and safety measures in the form of increased productivity, enhanced worker loyalty and cost savings. Make time on a regular once a month basis to discuss workplace safety policies and procedures with your employees as a group. The point of this exercise isn’t just to help reinforce procedures but to give your employees a chance to offer feedback. They may have observations or concerns that can help you improve your workplace safety policies and procedures. Your employees may be in a position to notice things that you haven’t and to point out areas where your workplace safety policies could use some work. They can also let you know what parts of your health and safety plan are going well.