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Safety first 6 essential steps to ensuring workplace safety for your employees



Are you keeping your employees safe? If you're concerned that your workers are not that safe on the job, we have six steps you can take to improve workplace safety and health for your team.

Workplaces are filled with safety hazards. Whether your business takes place in an office or on a construction site, accidents and injuries can occur when you expect them the least.

In fact, according to data from the International Labour Organization, nearly 2.3 million workers of both sexes from around the globe die due to work-related accidents or diseases every year. What's more, globally, there are about 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually.

In 2020, according to the data from the 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, work-related injuries cost US businesses over $1 billion per week or $59 billion per year. What's more, the top 10 causes according to the report include:

  1. Handling objects

  2. Falls on the same level

  3. Being hit by objects

  4. Falls to a lower level

  5. Awkward postures

  6. Vehicle crashes

  7. Slip or trip without fall

  8. Repetitive motions involving microtasks

  9. Colliding with objects

  10. Running equipment or machines

Data from the 2020 Workplace Safety also reports the industries with the costliest injuries, including construction, hospitality and leisure, manufacturing, healthcare and social services, retail, transportation, professional services and warehousing, and wholesale.

Whether your business is part of these industries or not, know that workplace accidents and injuries can happen to your employees as well. Work-related accidents do not only change the lives of your employees and their families but also can cost your company a lot of money in terms of compensation and time.

Luckily, proper safety procedures can help prevent or minimize accidents and injuries that can affect your employees. Here are six essential steps to take in order to improve workplace safety for your employees!

Identify safety hazards

First things first, you need to identify the safety risks your employees are exposed to in order to address them.

You can't know how to properly protect your employees if you're not sure what you should protect them from. So, the first step to improving workplace safety for your team is identifying hazards and thinking of solutions that will help eliminate or minimize them.

Each industry and workplace have specific safety hazards that can affect the workers. It's never going to be the same things that can harm the employees in different industries like, say, office work and construction. So, you need to inspect your workplace and identify what poses a threat to your team's wellbeing. It can be dangerous and toxic substances, unguarded machinery, electricity problems, extreme temperatures, or ergonomic hazards.

So, carry out an appropriate risk assessment for your workplace's nature and the safety hazards it holds.

Have safety protocols in place

Once you've identified the safety risks that your employees are exposed to, you can create safety protocols that your employees must follow in order to stay safe on the job.

So, develop strict safety requirements and procedures and inform your team that everyone must respect them. For example, suppose your employees are working with and handling biological or chemical hazards. In that case, they should wear proper protective gear that will keep them safe in case the substances spill or fall in their proximity.

Or, for example, if your business is in the construction industry, make sure all your workers wear their personal protective equipment, including protective gloves, hearing protection, respiratory protection, fall protection equipment, and more.

These are examples of safety protocols you need to have in place in your business. They can help prevent accidents and injuries or minimize the consequences in case accidents do happen.

Provide the right tools

Having safety protocols in place isn't enough if you, as an employer, don't provide your employees with the means they need to respect them. More precisely, you need to provide your workers with the right protection tools before asking them to respect them.

Now, the right tools that will keep your employees safe at work depend on the industry you're in as well. Once again, these tools will depend on the nature of your workplace. For example, employees working in an office might need ergonomic furniture to protect their back and neck health. In contract, employees working in workplaces with biological or chemical hazards eyewash emergency showers and personal protective equipment. At the same time, in construction, employees working at height need fall protection equipment.

Make sure you provide your employees with every tool they need to protect themselves from common safety hazards related to your industry.

Train your employees well

Proper training is a vital step for keeping your employees safe at work. Make sure that all your employees, especially new ones, have access to and complete all safety training for their work position. Ensure that all your workers are familiar with written instructions and safe work procedures related to their tasks.

By not providing comprehensive training to your employees, you're not only endangering your workers, but you also risk losing a lot of money due to poorly completed tasks or compensation because you'll be held liable for the accident.

Keep a tidy workplace

Messy workplaces can lead to unnecessary incidents that can lead to injuries. In fact, in messy workplaces, employees can be victims of fall and slip injuries due to boxes that aren't stacked safely, spills that aren't cleaned up quickly, tangled cords, or disorganized tools. Train your employees to stay organized and maintain their work area clean.

Encourage often short breaks

Whether it's for stretching to prevent back and neck pain for office employees or to ease muscle tension, calm down, rest eyes, or any other action that can help workers refresh, encourage your employees to take short but often breaks.

Short breaks are an effective way for your employees to regain focus and return to their tasks with a refreshed mind that will help them follow the procedures and work safely.

 


Business Daily Media