If you own a company that has a high-risk work environment, you must ensure basic safety measures for your employees. These workplaces are responsible for severe accidents, some of which have claimed lives. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hire employees to work for your firm. Your workplace will provide a safe atmosphere for your employees if you practice safety and have the right protocols and training in place. Sometimes things as simple as wet floors or uneven and elevated ground can be the reason for slip-and-fall accidents at the workplace. In fact, “Slip and fall injuries are among the most common causes of hospital visits in the United States,” says The Barnes Firm, slip and fall lawyer for accidents at work.
Below are six workplace safety measures that you can ensure for your employees.
Provide training for machinery
You must train your employees to handle heavy and complex machinery if your company uses them for production and operation. Many accidents occur in such workplaces because the operators don’t know how to work with these machines. A careless move can not only impede the operations or production process but can also injure one or multiple employees involved. A malfunctioning machine can also be the reason for these accidents.
To prevent such accidents, check the manuals that come with the machines, and train your employees well to handle them. Also, ensure that the employees use these machines for their intended purpose and not for something else.
Communicate company safety policies
Every company has a set of safety policies. If your workplace is hazardous, you must set such policies and communicate them with your employees. Have them participate in all the drills and follow the policies at all times.
Update these policies as per any upgradation or changes in work type or working environment. Hold training sessions and communicate new safety policies when you upgrade your tools and machinery or introduce new ones. Maintaining these policies can reduce accidents. It’s important to have a defined HR department to handle the policymaking and training sessions. If your business requires frequent changes or upgrades in machines and procedures, you must form an HR department to aid the process.
Provide instructions for safety gears
Providing safety gear such as fire-retardant uniforms and non-slip shoes are great ways to reduce accidents in hazardous workplaces. Train your employees to put on these gears when they work. A helmet or non-slip shoes might not seem too important. But accidents can take place for the smallest of reasons, and wearing these gears reduces or eliminates the chances of serious injuries. Employees must wear non-slip shoes at workplaces that create spillage. They must wear masks and bodysuits if they deal with dust and debris. The same applies to harmful chemicals.
Introduce breaks between work
Aside from the breaks between two shifts, introduce more breaks during work. Long working hours can exhaust employees and increase the chances of workplace accidents. Even if you’re not working with machines and have a desk and a computer, take occasional breaks to give your eyes rest. Move around for better blood circulation in your body. Instruct your employees to do the same. If they handle heavy equipment, give them breaks every hour to regain their stamina. Staying well-fed and hydrated will also help replenish their lost energy throughout the day.
Check for potential risks
You can hold bi-weekly inspections at your workplace to weed out potential risks. Check for malfunctioning machines or electric wiring and eliminate the risks immediately. Encourage your employees to find and report any inconsistencies or malfunctions as they are the ones who spend time around these more. The most ethical thing to do in these situations is to halt operations until the problem gets resolved. Don’t overlook them for fear of losing money because an unsafe environment can take the lives of your employees.
Create a safe working environment
Creating a safe working environment for your employees is another great way to reduce workplace accidents. Keeping the workplace tidy can somewhat reduce these accidents. As mentioned before, tripping or slipping and falling causes a majority of workplace accidents. Take an hour or two every day and instruct your team to declutter the workspace and throw out the clutter.
If the workplace creates spillage, mop the liquid every few hours. Urge your employees to wear protective gear before they enter a hazardous work area, even if it’s for a few minutes. They must turn off the machines after using them and switch off the electricity before leaving work.
Keep a paramedic contact in hand and place multiple first aid boxes in the workplace in case of emergencies. Try to control long-term exposure to hazardous working conditions for your employees to prevent chronic illness and deformities.
While workplace accidents are not unavoidable, being cautious can reduce the number by a large margin. When practicing safety measures at the workplace becomes a norm, the employees soon get acclimatized to it. Workplace accidents can cost you a lot in compensation if your employees file a complaint. So, create a safe working environment that benefits both you and your employees.