Employers are responsible for creating a safe work environment for their employees. This can include anything from making sure you wear helmets on construction sites to ensuring office air is filtered appropriately. It may seem like a good idea to cut corners on these safety things and just do the bare minimum, but the truth is that workplace safety should take a front seat to other considerations at your place of work. Many people leave workplaces who aren’t for their safety. Here are the workplace safety tips you should focus on to ensure your staff are healthy and safe at work.
Having an ergonomic workstation will help protect staff from neck, back, shoulder, and hand injuries. Many people experience injury from sitting too long at workstations that are not designed for their needs. When this happens, some simple tweaks to tailor the height of the desk, keyboard, and monitors can make a huge difference. Add in a quality chair, and proper lighting and you have a better work environment for your people. You can also ensure tools are tailored to your staff. For instance, if you have left-handed staff it’s a good idea to have tools they can use with ease as well.
Working for too long can leave employees feeling overworked and tired. Breaks are essential for workplace safety. Don’t think you can skimp on them either. Especially for people who work in dangerous environments, a break can mean the difference between life and death. Imagine flying in an airplane with a pilot who has worked 16 hours straight without a break, or buying a house built by workers who were exhausted and stressed. Breaks are critical. Take responsibility and make sure all your staff take their breaks.
Clean Up Spills
You might want the janitor to come for every spill, but you can also empower your staff to clean up spills at work. Have frequent spill stations to ensure they have the tools they need to clean up and to warn people about the spill. Spills can cause dangerous falls, lead to lawsuits, and OSHA 10 rules remind employers of the importance of cleaning up messes. It takes only a few minutes to ensure your workplace is safe.
Heating, Cooling and Ventilation
Did you know that a HVAC system that’s not in working order can lead to sickness? Poor ventilation, toxic leaks, and lack of proper filtration are all hazards in the workplace. When it comes to workplace safety, your business needs well-serviced heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. Comfortable temperatures help people work better and keep them healthier, along with having good airflow that doesn’t leave your workplace hot and stuffy. Additionally, good filtration and ventilation can reduce the risk of virus transmission indoors including for COVID-19 and influenza.
Provide Safety Equipment
Many construction companies require staff to have their own steel toed boots and protective head gear. But beyond that, there are other pieces of safety equipment needed to provide a safe working environment. In healthcare, staff need PPE, in offices, warning signs are vital as well. As an employer, it’s your job to provide safety equipment for your staff. While some items can be personal to the employee, others should be readily available at work.
Use Tools Correctly
It should go without saying that when you use a tool improperly, you’re at greater risk of injury. But part of your responsibility as an employer is to ensure staff use their tools the right way. This means having consequences if you see them operating a forklift dangerously, or not using the correct safety steps when using a chainsaw. If you want your team to use these tools correctly, it’s important to provide effective training and to model the behavior you want to see.
Help Employees Manage Stress
Too much stress can lead to a dangerous work environment. If you see that an employee is overwhelmed, offer them a moment to regroup. In high stress environments, stress can cause paralysis and make it difficult to make snap decisions. By helping employees manage stress in the workplace, you create a safer environment for everyone. This can include offering counseling if needed as well. For people who work in mental health, it’s critical to offer them mental health breaks to deal with the situations they encounter.