Regardless of the industry your business operates in, safety in the workplace should always be your number one priority as an employer. Aside from ensuring legal compliance and avoiding potential repercussions in the future, improving workplace safety is also essential for avoiding accidents and injuries, protecting the health of your employees, and even contributing to a more efficient and productive working environment. To that end, here are some simple yet efficient ways you could improve the safety in your workplace, and create a healthier and more secure environment for all:
Hire experienced workers
Hiring new workers quickly solely due to a higher demand and an increase in production is never a good idea. Apart from encouraging you to hire the most available person instead of the best one for the job, such quick decisions could also mean a lack of time for proper onboarding processes, potentially increasing the risk of accidents in the workplace.
Instead, your goal should be to have a strong team of competent, skilled, and professional staff. Hiring only the most experienced and well-suited employees will ensure high-quality work, while minimizing potential risks and dangers in the work environment.
Prioritize proper training
One of the most important ways business owners can improve safety in the workplace and reduce the risk of injuries is through more comprehensive and accessible training. In many countries, business need a Health and Safety Representative that undergoes mandatory HSR Training. These HSR’s ensure the safety of employees and pass on any additional safety training to employees even after onboarding, which is quite a common practice.
Here, most employers understand that relying on the common sense of their workers is simply not enough; they have to outline techniques and practices that will make their jobs simpler and easier. No matter how experienced your employees might be, it would also be wise to provide them with extensive training in all aspects of their job to ensure safety compliance.
Invest in the right equipment
In countries like Australia, on the other hand, employers know that simply educating and training their workers won’t be enough for improving workplace safety. In order to ensure employees adhere to the necessary guidelines, it’s also essential to provide them with proper gear and equipment.
For that reason, local business owners often decide to invest in the best men’s workwear in Australia that will keep their employees safe and protected. From industrial trousers and utility pants to hi-vis shirts and overalls, the right clothing is incredibly important for the protection of employees. Of course, it goes without saying that proper PPE such as hardhats, protective goggles, and safety shoes should always be provided as well.
Create a safety procedure
As an employer, it is your duty to ensure the highest standards of safety in the workplace. Aside from providing adequate gear and training, this also means creating an appropriate safety procedure that includes identifying and removing hazards, and developing emergency plans. As soon as you find something hazardous or some machine not working properly and can pause danger to the safety of workers, Lockout Tagout must be used.
Start by providing your employees with necessary emergency equipment, and make sure they know where fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, emergency exits, electrical breaker switches, and other important aspects are at all times. Then, educate your employees on how to act when working with potential hazards such as harsh chemicals and heavy machinery, in an effort to minimize accidents or alternatively enable your workers to act quickly and appropriately to workplace dangers.
Inspect the workplace regularly
In order to remove any immediate dangers, it’s advised to check your workplace regularly. This usually means ensuring the workplace is clean and mess-free, with cleared walkways and no hazards such as loose and tangled wires cluttering the floor, as tripping and falling are among the most common workplace injuries.
Similarly, it’s recommended to inspect the machinery, tools, and other equipment routinely. Ensuring all the necessary gear your employees use is well-maintained, in good working condition, and safe to use is another simple way of avoiding many common accidents and injuries that occur in the workplace. What’s more, proper maintenance could also protect you from potential legal liability as well.
Keep the dialogue open
After ensuring all the safety and protective measures are set in place, and your employees are familiar with necessary practices, it’s also important to keep the dialogue about health and safety in the workplace open, whether that means holding regular safety briefings, appointing a safety officer, or simply further educating and communicating with your staff about health and protection.
No matter what you choose to do, encouraging your employees to promptly report any potential hazards and dangers, and share their thoughts and ideas on improving safety will help to create a healthier and safer working environment for everyone involved.
Workplace safety is a collective effort. While your duty might be to provide efficient equipment, a clean environment, and necessary procedures, it’s the job of your employees to report issues and make an effort to adhere to safety guidelines, in order to improve the overall safety in the workplace.