As a business owner, you have many responsibilities, some more challenging than others. One of the most important responsibilities is to create a culture of safety in the workplace and to protect your employees from various hazards in the workplace.
Industries such as oil and gas, transportation, construction and manufacturing pose the greatest risk of injury, so if you run this type of business you should keep your workers safe. Employee safety is essential for a well-functioning production or warehouse environment, but it is sometimes easier to say than to ensure. Common injuries that employees may experience in the workplace include falling from heights, slipping and tripping, being hit by or against an object, electrocution and shortness of breath, often related to ladders, forklifts, machinery and work equipment.
Protecting your employees will not only allow you to successfully fulfill your legal obligations, but it will also reduce the risk of death, reduce injury rates, and increase employee well-being. Plus, you can increase productivity – the safer and healthier employees are, the better their focus.
Hire security-oriented people
When it comes to your team, make sure you’re hiring only the best of the best. It is not always related to the speed of work but to the quality. Don’t even think about hiring people because of your lack of staff – even if you hire fewer people, it’s important for them to be qualified and safety-oriented. That way, you can avoid accidents involving the use of machinery or equipment. If you hire people who do not share your security philosophy and put them in a position where security is essential, it will inevitably affect your entire business.
Keep in mind that an unskilled employee who is not connected to the security system is more prone to injury. Employees must understand all of these rules before being charged for work involving deeper knowledge and skills. We know that it can be difficult to make sure you hire the right people, but our advice would be to screen candidates carefully to determine their experience, skills and competencies. You need to pay close attention to their CVs and cover letters to keep them up to date with their education and professional experience.
Provide appropriate safety equipment and PPE
It is important to hire a qualified team, but it is also important to provide them with the right equipment. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a priority that every employer should be aware of. Employees at risk must wear protective equipment such as eye and hearing protection, gloves, face mask, shoes, personal steel foot boots, safety goggles or helmet. Depending on your business, make sure your employees are properly equipped before assigning any responsibilities. If anything happens to them, you are responsible for their injuries. Furthermore, employees injured in the workplace may claim a workplace accident in order to receive compensation for the injury they received because you failed to provide them with adequate PPE.
The importance of security culture is communication
Your goal is to show everyone security as a value, not a formality. For this, it is not enough to hire qualified staff but also to understand their security measures and promote them. Make sure everyone from the CEO and the board member to the new employee respect and prioritize the security system. If you or other managers do not promote safety in the workplace, make sure your employees do not. Therefore, do not place the sole responsibility for maintaining safety on your Environmental Safety and Health (EHS) team – everyone in that company should be concerned about safety.
Provide safety training
If you still rely on common sense about workplace safety, it’s time to change habits. One of the most (if not most) effective practices for ensuring workplace safety is to provide proper and regular training to your employees. As an employer, humility is essential, but you need to be determined to ensure that each team member meets your security expectations. Thus, consider training your employees before starting work and make them aware of the risk of accidents or emergencies. Teach them how to wear PPE, how to handle industrial equipment, how to deal with emergencies, and how to discuss workplace ergonomics. For employees working in hazardous areas, it is important to know these things before starting work so that they can make the right decision: will they take these risks or not?
Training should also include hazard awareness and response and practice theory. Therefore, make sure you include hands-on learning techniques to prepare your employees for any event or emergency in the workplace. Activity-based learning has proven to be a more effective method in many cases, but if you combine it with peer-to-peer instruction, you are sure to get better results. Therefore, include employers charged with conducting such events in your training so that your trainees can learn from someone experienced.
Regular maintenance schedule of machines and equipment
Smooth running machines are the recipe for success, especially when it comes to factories. These ensure the quantity and quality of the product, so breaking down some equipment will significantly reduce your work efficiency. Also, defective equipment and tools are unsafe, putting workers at risk of injury or death. This is why we recommend regular maintenance of equipment and tools to avoid any unpleasant situations or incidents in the workplace. Make sure every piece of machine is in the right place and inspect it frequently for any faults so that you can pick up any broken machine for repair at the best time.
Prioritize mental and emotional health as well as physical health
You probably didn’t expect that, but yes, employee mental health is essential in the workplace. If we recall the recent events surrounding the Covid-19 epidemic, we announce with great concern that more and more workers around the world are facing more stress in the workplace, some of whom have even quit their jobs. Burnouts and dissatisfaction are common causes of workers’ unproductiveness, which are directly related to business success. Consider promoting good mental health practices and encouraging employees to take a few (or more) days off to recharge their batteries and work with new forces. Trust us; A happy workforce is more efficient than one burned!