Workplace safety has become among the top priorities for organizations around the world. As a safe workplace is where most productive work is done, organizations are trying to explore all the different methods to keep all their frontline, in-office and remote employees safe and healthy.
If you want your business to grow, you need your employees to stay safe and free from any other worries. This is where you, as an employee, have to play a pivotal role.
In that context, we are here to talk about the importance and best practices of maintaining a safe workplace.
Workplace Safety Defined
Safety of employees also refers to the provision of a safe working environment, having safe policies, equipment and all the other things that ensure employees’ safety.
In 2022, employee safety has become an important part of the organization. Not only is the pandemic resulting in health issues, but it also encapsulates the mental health that disperses the focus of the employees and reduces their productivity.
While organizations have a moral obligation towards their employees, an unsafe workplace can also come with serious legal and financial consequences.
Importance Of Workplace Safety
Safety in the organization has a significant impact on many business KPIs. In other words, a safer working environment results in fewer accidents, better employee retention, and less retraining time.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the importance of workplace safety.
Employees appreciate a safer workplace. A safer workplace shows that employers care about the people working under them. In addition, employees who feel safer while working are loyal to the organization and stay in the organization for a long period.
On the other hand, employees who don’t feel safe working in the organization are more likely to search for a new employer.
Boost In Employee Productivity
Employees who feel safe working in an organization focus on the work better. This is because the thought of being injured in the workplace doesn’t cross their mind. However, if the working environment is unsafe, the employees will develop a certain level of anxiety and fright, reducing their productivity.
The only way you can eliminate this problem is by offering our employees a safer working environment and offering them insurance in case they are injured working.
Companies that don’t invest in employee safety soon develop a negative reputation. Because of this native reputation of having an unsafe working environment, talented candidates avoid joining the company.
Moreover, customers and competitors of such companies deem them to be unprofessional and use them against them to attract their customers.
As a result, fewer employees apply for the job, and all the skilled employees go to your competitors.
Best Practice For Workplace Safety
Workplace health and safety is an extremely important thing for businesses to consider from a number of perspectives. Not only is there a legal incentive to ensure workers and visitors remain safe in work environments or active job sites, but also financial and moral imperatives.
According to OSHA, the number of incidents per worker has declined by around two-thirds since 1972, thanks to various measures and programs that ensure site safety. What essential practices can you adopt to ensure the same?
The bedrock of any workplace safety program can be found in the form of risk assessment. Risk assessments involve the comprehensive examination of a workplace to discover the various hazards it presents, followed by the planning of solutions to lessen the risk or remove hazards altogether. Specific staff members should be assigned to each risk mitigation plan for accountability to ensure the work is done to improve safety.
For example, a construction site, temporary working location, or engineering environment might see cables and wires trailed across walkways and between equipment – presenting a trip hazard to workers in the process. Using cable reels and caddies to manage and control cable storage and runs throughout the environment can mitigate this risk. A senior engineer or site foreman could be tasked with procuring these reels and ensuring they are used properly on-site.
Safety Equipment And Tools
Improving workplace safety should always start with eliminating or mitigating hazards, but a last resort of sorts presents itself in safety equipment. This is illustrated by the hierarchy of controls, which is a helpful diagram that arranges health and safety measures in order of effectiveness.
Elimination is the most effective form of hazard control, as removing the hazard completely removes the risk of injury from it. Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is the last resort option as a final barrier between unavoidable hazards and workers.
Employees should be provided with relevant safety equipment for their roles or responsibilities, whether goggles for cutting and drilling or weatherproof clothing for outdoor work.
There is an overriding element to ensuring the various controls you can implement as a business are implemented correctly, though. This makes training arguably the most important thing you can do to maintain a safe workplace.
Training can target many specific things across your staff hierarchy. For example, you might use training to ensure all staff have the same knowledge about how to use PPE.
In addition, specific supervisor training can guarantee that authority figures in the workplace or on-site have the tools to manage short-term safety issues while implementing longer-term safety procedures themselves.
Lastly, signage is key to communicating risk to others, whether staff or visitors. For example, warehouses might use signage to highlight areas of high traffic or places where automated machinery operates. Industrial environments might display warnings about equipment volume or other environmental hazards.
When discussing workplace safety, it never hurts to be over-prepared. Regular meetings with the team members can ensure that workplace safety remains at the top of mind.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep your employees safe. They are the ones working and helping you to run the business. Keep this in mind.
We have encapsulated everything in this article so that you know what steps to take. If you need clarification about anything we have discussed here, feel free to contact us. We will have to prepare a different article discussing that particular topic.