When the safety of your workplace is taken lightly, you risk the health of your employees. You also instigate a work absenteeism crisis due to medical leaves. As a result, you decrease your work input hence the output.
Businesses, despite their sizes, need to embrace safety measures. According to OSHA, almost 4.1 million workers get injured or ill during work. Also, an average of 12 workers perishes every day.
It is imperative for you as an employer to make your workplace safe. Regarding the OSHA act of 1970, employers must avail gear pertinent to the place of work. They are also required to train their workers on safety issues.
Fostering a safe workplace will not just abate injuries. To an extent, the program shall reduce medical costs and boost employee morale. Moreover, it’s the base for increased productivity as well as retention. And on the overall outlook, it indicates that you are considerate of your employees.
What is a safe workplace?
Absolutely a safe workplace depends on the nature of drudgery and enterprise. Safety requirements for a tech company will be dissimilar to an industrial plant. If your workplace deals with dangerous equipment, personal protective tools must be in place. The employees must also be trained to handle the hazardous components and safety tools.
For offices dealing with light jobs, safety is critical too. Fostering a safe environment starts with ergonomic furniture installation. They will reduce health injuries such as tunnel syndrome, among others.
With all things considered, workplaces can only be safe if safety precautions are adhered to. While training your employees, you should refer them to OSHA training programs. The programs impart your employees with the ability to analyze occupational hazards. Thereon they can take the necessary course of action.
Also, when you are hiring, it’s imperative that you consider interviewees with OSHA certification. Having a list of individuals who can analyze and alert you on hazards fosters a safe workplace.
Tips for creating a safe workplace
1. Create a safe work lifestyle
The foundation of having a safe work environment starts by making it a habit. Safety workplace habit encompasses the values that your faculty has on safety. The culture depicts consideration of the cognitive and physical wellbeing of your staff.
2. Offer a continuous training program.
Despite the nature of your business, safety training is critical. As for office workers, training is based on ergonomics. Being equipped with such knowledge will help them analyze work hazards within the office.
Additionally, if you are dealing with recruits, you must educate them on PPE use. Also, you have to show them places where they can replace damaged equipment. Showing them emergency exits and first aid kits will be helpful too.
Still, in terms of training, you should encourage your workers to take OSHA training courses. The same also applies to already certified employees. If your work advances, safety precaution changes, and so is the need for new knowledge.
What’s OSHA training?
OSHA training is in the form of outreach courses. They vary depending on the workplace. To some extent, work positions also impact the type of training.
OSHA training can either be 10 hours or 30 hours. In most cases, the 10-hour course is ideal for regular employees. The 30-hour training is suitable for supervisors or safety specialists, but anyone can go through them.
The extended duration is to make the specialists or supervisor understand the safety regulations. Breaks are a mandate. Thus, the course can take up to 7 days, depending on your commitment.
OSHA training is specific. Given that you work in a chemical plant, your training will be based on the safe handling of chemicals. Upon completion of the training, you get the department of labor OSHA card ( DOL). The card proves that you completed the course and thus certified.
Notably, if your employees have the card, it shows that the workplace is safe. All in all is up to you as an employer to be in line with genuine OSHA training facilities, where you can refer your employees.
3. provide relevant gear to your staff
Proper gear is essential when it comes to creating a safe work environment. If your workplace deals with construction, home remodeling, firefighting, shipment, headgear, and uniforms are a must-have.
Firefighters must have fire retardant uniform hard helmets. To construction workers, sturdy headgears should be availed. Additionally, welders and chemical handlers must have protective goggles.
After providing the necessary gear, it’s imperative that you emphasize safety with signs. Also, you have to ensure that your supervisors adhere to the gear rule. It should only be altered after task completion.
4. Create room for discussions
Each organization needs to create time for safety discussion after every task or month. The panels shall bring to current light defects on safety measures. It also depicts a new cause of alarm in workplaces. It’s only through them that the arising situations can be addressed. However, this is not a safety regulation. It only helps in pinpointing unobserved threats and the necessary touch-ups to be done.
5. Monotonously asses and review the workplace
Safety processes keep on evolving with a growing business. As a result, safety equipment becomes phlegmatic. Inspections shall depend on the corporation’s size. If your employees have OSHA training, you can assign the work to a specific group. If not, you can hire a safety inspector. The inspections shall point out hazards in offices and worksites. Thereon you can work on the necessary rectifications. At last, you have to inspect the PPE you provide for your employees. Should they have damages, they can cause unforeseeable work injuries.
6. Build your work with emergency exits
You can’t be too careful when it comes to workplace safety. For this reason, you have to beware that anything can happen. Your workplace, therefore, needs to have emergency exits.
Your employees need to be taken through the drill over and over to familiarize themselves with the exits. Moreover, documents showing the exit blueprints and emergency protocols should be issued to them.
Emergency signs should be installed in their designated area of work. Additionally, smoke detectors should be frequently updated. Water spouts also need to be adequate to counteract fires.
7. Schedule inspections with OSHA consultants
An external eye should interview your workspace safety. You have to enlist the help of OSHA consultants within your area. The consultant shall evaluate both environmental and mechanical hazards in your workplace. Thereon he will pinpoint anything that violates the stipulated rules. The consultant will also review your safety programs. Should there be any flaws, he will talk to the employees and advice measures to take.
8. Rectify the problems outlined by the inspector
Given that the consultant outlines things that violate OSHA rules, rectifications should be done. After that, you can contact the consultant again for re-evaluation. Your employees should also be informed about the new advancements. That can either be done through writing new rules and the lately implemented safety strategies.
9. Improve your workplace security.
In as much as you deal with occupational hazards, you also have to know that security is a significant concern. There’s in no place that’s guaranteed to be no victim to an aggressive third party.
Robbery can even take place during the day. You can never be too careful. This is the reason that you need. As a manager, you should ensure that your workplace security protocols are up to date.
If necessary, you have to improve your locks or even add security personnel. It would be best if you also designated workers for specific purposes, such as calling 911. Integrating your alarm signal with police patrol or base will also suffice in case of a break-in.
10. Emphasize safety on all levels of your workplace.
A safety program can quickly fail to work. You will only enjoy their fruition if every level of your work affiliation embraces consistency. Putting a few safety signs in your workplace won’t suffice. A viable safety program is only guaranteed if every level supports and crusades it.
As a manager, you should address safety within your workplace through emails, meetings, or even newsletters. If your contact with employees is consistent, you have to discuss the issue daily. Your supervisor should also lead the crusade by being a perfect example.
Additionally, employees need to be responsible for one another. For instance, leaving chemical spills on the floor because you are occupied is inconsiderate. It’s irresponsible if another employee sees and ignores it. Such spills could end up causing injuries. As per my perspective, encouraging responsibility for one another and teamwork can create a safe work environment.
11. Give honors to employees that contribute to safe upkeep.
Honoring employees through rewards or promotion sets the safety bar standards for others to follow. Rewards will motivate employees towards embracing a safe culture. After that, it shall aid the uniform approach of secure workspace.
12. Give a short break to your workers.
The 20 minutes breaks are critical in improving your workplace ergonomics and health. Despite having all the safety measures in place, mere fatigue can cause despicable harm.
It can, however, be avoided if your employees are allowed to stretch and get refreshed. Stretching will relieve muscle strains and reduce monotonous motion bodily damages.
13. Put safety protocols right from the start.
The safety of your workplace starts from the first day. Sufficed to say, you have to hire employees who pay attention to safety measures. A safe workspace depends on the employees’ abilities to adhere to stipulated procedures.
To some extent, you as an employer have to work with therapists. They analyze the physical and mental demands of each work. Thereon they file the findings, which come in handy when creating functional job scrutiny. It also helps in the post-bid pre-assignment tests.
Benefits of creating a safe work environment
1. increased productivity
A safe work environment is devoid of occupational hazards. Unlike unsafe workplaces, it has protocols that ensure physical wellbeing. The rate of productivity depends on the health of your employees. If your workplace accounts for their excellent health, both mentally and physically, productivity grows exponentially.
2. Improved service delivery
Proper service delivery depends on the cognitive state of your employees. Once your employees know that they are safe, the way they respond to customers or any other duty changes.
3. Abates the quitting number of employees
The chances of your staff quitting work become minimal, provided that you make their environment safe. Making them work in a dangerous environment will coerce them to seek employment somewhere else. For you to evade this, you have to ensure that their workspace guarantees their safety.
4. You get branded as OSHA compliant.
As long as you have a safe workplace, you can relax knowing that your corporation is on the right side of regulations. OSHA’s sole goal is to perpetuate safe working environments for workers. The administration is there to ensure that every corporation is in line with its code. If not, they enforce them. Therefore, Failure to adhere to their stipulated rules will make you subject to fines.
5. Polishes your reputation
Work injuries and ailments will damage your reputation. Consequently, if your corporation is branded as a red zone, you lose business opportunities. However, if you strictly follow the stipulated safety rules, you create yourself a positive reputation.
You get immune to legal suits.
It’s not bizarre when employees sue their manager for work-related injuries or illnesses. To some extent, corporations get closed because of legal suing. Nonetheless, you need not go through the ordeal. Embrace the fostering of a safe workplace.
In retrospect, creating a safe workplace relies on you as a manager and the cooperation of your employees. It starts with training, and fortunate enough, training periods are short. The occupational safety and health administration offers safety courses. It also has inspectors to assess if your work complies with its regulations.
Referring your employees to OSHA is courses will be worth it. The benefits also linger. You do not only get the improved reputation, but you also realize increased productivity. Additionally, medical expenses and the number of employees quitting work abates exponentially.