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9 Ways To Create a Safer Environment For Your Employees

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

Most business owners’ most pressing goal is to get their staff to perform as best as possible. But beyond the software and countless business meetings, efficiency involves more. The environment in which your employees perform their tasks goes a long way to affect moods. If anything, you’ll want your staff members to be in the right state of mind to work. Safety is one of the things to not compromise on, in that regard, and you’ll be introduced to some ways to do that. A workplace safety culture allows you to prevent injuries that could cost you as well, and so you should take it seriously.

  • Adopt robust safety protocol from the start

Right from the start, it will be helpful to have a safety mindset. That includes hiring people who are already safety conscious and possess qualities like paying attention to detail. While you can teach someone to be more careful, the impact isn’t the same as if they already want to do that for themselves. So make it a point to carefully select who you bring into your organization. Taking this initiative will avoid putting other employees at risk for the benefit of the business.

  • Perform proper training

As they say, knowledge is power, and so it will be helpful to equip your employees with the required information to stay safe. Training is one way to do so, and it makes them more safety conscious. Not only should there be education on curative measures, but you should also focus on preventive measures. Try to organize the training to be as customized as possible for the different positions in your company.

  • Avoid messiness

Messiness is a major cause of unnecessary accidents, and so cleaning up is important. Organizing goes a long way to clear the workspace for easy access and a generally safer space. Boxes should be out of the way to prevent people from bumping into them. Spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent slipping. And in the winter, ensure that gritting is done regularly to prevent more slips. Cords from computers and other tools should also be well hidden so that they don’t become a hazard.

  • Reward safety behavior

Recognition and appreciation are two things that motivate people to repeat certain behaviors. With regard to safety, it will help to reward behaviors geared towards creating an excellent environment for all. You will be able to have your staff members’ attention and engagement with that, making them safety conscious in everything that they do. The rewards could be in verbal form, token, or as a little bonus.

  • Use labels and signs 

 

Communication in the workplace doesn’t always have to be via emails or phone calls. When it comes to safety, labels and signs will prove to be more effective since they’re right in the face, and so are hard to ignore. For example, the ‘wet floor’ sign can be used in a place where a spill has just been cleaned to prevent people from slipping unaware. On water dispensers, make sure that hot and cold are indicated in a manner that everyone can easily understand. You can also use reflective material in hazardous areas to enhance visibility. Also, on glass doors, you can put ‘use this door’ posters to prevent people from bumping into them. The good thing about this is that it is quite inexpensive to implement, and it will go a long way in reducing injuries and accidents in the workplace.

  • Use up to date safety equipment

Safety equipment is those items that help people to stay safe, especially when the environment is quite hazardous. For example, if you work in the construction industry, then your staff members should have things like helmets, goggles, etc. The medical industry also must have PPE including face masks, eye safety goggles, gloves, etc. when carrying out their work. In both industries, covering up or wearing the right attire, in general, is vital for everyone’s safety. It will also help to have a safety kit for emergencies, if possible.

  • Encourage taking breaks

Most of the work that people do is a series of repeated steps. In driving, construction, and even the corporate world, getting things done involves steps, and they are done over and over, every day until the weekend. Especially in the corporate world, it’s easy to be in one position for long periods. Most people usually stay at their desks and rarely move around from morning through to lunchtime. However, it is advisable to encourage your employees to take stretch breaks for their health. This helps to get the blood flowing in the body and also prevents burnout. The tension in the joints is also reduced, preventing injury from repetitive motion.

  • Have meetings on safety

It isn’t enough to have a safety culture or put measures in place. Once in a while, those measures have to be reviewed so that better strategies can be adopted. Meetings allow the organization as a whole to discuss those strategies, what works, what doesn’t, and the way forward. If possible, you can have a committee to keep tabs on safety activities so that there is proper record-keeping. Unlike in training, employees are given the opportunity to speak up about their challenges. They can also then come up with their own ideas of how the workplace can be made safer for all.

  • Bring in a health and safety expert

On your own, you might miss one or two things that could get in the way of achieving a safer workplace for your staff members. So to prevent that, it will help to have an expert on your side to provide advice. Occupational health psychologists, for example, can help with identifying mental health risks in your organization and offer solutions to them. An expert can also point out what tweaks you can make in the design of the space to enhance it.

The bottom line is that as a business owner, it is your responsibility to make sure your staff has a safe place to work. Not only does it make you a great employer, but your employees get the environment, they deserve to be their best selves.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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