Innovative Ways to Ensure Employee Safety

We deserve to feel safe in our places of business without the risk of serious harm from our working environment or the people within it.

There is no way to ensure 100% safety at all times, but employers can take many actions to reduce the risk of employee harm. 

If you’re concerned about whether you’re doing enough to keep your employees safe, review your practices. You might improve your employee safety measures by taking some of these actions below:   

Running Background Checks On New Employees

background check might be a standard part of your recruitment process to ensure applicants have the skills and experience they say they do. However, they can also be a safety tool. You can learn about applicants’ criminal history and whether they have a past involving violence or sexual offences or are security risks in other ways. 

While a person’s past doesn’t necessarily define who they are or their work ethic, it can sometimes be worth considering if you believe their previous convictions or records could pose a risk to your current employees. 

Providing High-Quality Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) can reduce the likelihood of accidents or severe injuries. Most employees know that. Yet, some employees may choose not to use it for various reasons like discomfort, poor availability, poor training, or inefficiency.   

Knowing that your employees might choose not to wear provided PPE for such reasons can make it worthwhile to come up with a solution. Otherwise, a lack of PPE may one day result in a serious workplace incident. Possible solutions can include: 

● Providing high-quality PPE

● Offering training on appropriate PPE use

● Purchasing comfortable and ergonomic PPE

● Highlighting the importance of PPE

● Making it a requirement to wear PPE

● Ensuring there’s enough PPE for all employees 

Prioritizing Training

The costs associated with employee training can put many employers off offering it to their teams. However, workplace safety training might even save you money. Moreover, it can be integral for ensuring your employees know how to perform their jobs safely and to a high standard. 

Make health and safety a core part of your company’s onboarding process and prioritize regular employee training programs. The more training your team receives, the more likely they can often be to retain the information they need to keep themselves and others safe. 

Identify and Rectify Workplace Hazards

Whether you work in an office environment or on a construction site, there can be hazards everywhere you look. Wobbly staircase railings, roof scaffolding, cords running across floors, and guards missing from power tools can all be accidents waiting to happen. 

You might assume that your employees know how to avoid hurting themselves at work, but there’s no reason why you need to take the risk. Make your premises a safe place to work and visit by identifying and rectifying as many workplace hazards as possible. 

Fortunately, even business owners who aren’t sure how to do this can have guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They recommend taking six steps for hazard prevention and control: 

  1. Collecting information about hazards
  2. Inspecting the workplace for hazards
  3. Identifying health hazards
  4. Launching incident investigations
  5. Identifying risks associated with emergencies
  6. Characterizing the nature of hazards, identifying temporary control measures, and prioritizing permanent control measures for the hazards 

Introduce Workplace Security Measures

Employees strive to provide excellent customer service, but customers don’t always get the outcomes they want. Depending on your industry, this can mean employees are at risk of being in dangerous situations involving customer confrontation. 

If this is a genuine concern of your employees, introduce workplace security measures. These might include staff-only site access, surveillance systems, security employees, and workplace security training. 

Implement Wellness Programs

When you think of workplace hazards and safety problems, you might think about slips, trips, and falls. However, mental health can also be a significant safety concern. According to a recent Gallup survey, four in 10 United States workers reported that their jobs negatively impacted their mental health.  

You may not be able to offer the mental health support your team needs directly, but you can create a healthier work environment. Consider implementing wellness programs that encourage employees to take breaks, exercise, try counselling, and take care of themselves. 

While you might not like spending money on a mental wellness initiative, there’s potential for it to pay off. After Johnson & Johnson leaders invested in wellness programs, they saved $250 million in healthcare costs. From 2002 to 2008, they enjoyed a $2.71 return on every dollar they spent. 

Employee safety should be any employer’s number one priority. If you haven’t done everything you can to create a safe working environment, it might be time to take some of the above actions.

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