6 Simple Steps to Improve Workplace Safety
BY: MEGAN TOTKA ON THURSDAY, MARCH 01, 2018
Each year, 5.7 million employees are injured or become ill due to workplace hazards in the United States, according to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. If you’re hoping to encourage and increase workplace safety and health, you must first identify hazards employees face in various work environments. As an employer, you can then develop an innovative safety plan that will help eliminate or minimize those hazards, ultimately leading to a safer, healthier and more productive environment. Take a look at these 6 steps that can help you boost the safety of your workplace.
Train employees thoroughly
Comprehensive training is vital to prevent injuries in the workplace. Make sure each of your employees complete and have continued access to the necessary training for their position within the company. Lack of knowledge can lead to unintentional injuries. One of several mistakes small businesses make while trying to grow is failing to properly train new employees. Hold regular meetings on workplace safety to keep it top of mind for your staff; both the seasoned employees and the new hires can benefit. You can never be too prepared.
One simple way to encourage safety in the workplace is through desirable rewards like gift cards or other prizes. You can opt to give out these rewards when employees follow safety policies, or to the winners of company-wide weekly safety trivia contests. Encourage your team to study the safety manual and each week, ask a different question that employees could answer after taking time to study the manual. This can make a noticeable different in the reduction of workplace injuries.
Use the proper equipment
Lifting heavy objects is one of the leading causes of workplace injury. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that shoulder and back injuries account for more than one-third of all work-related injuries. Use proper equipment to avoid traumatic and overexertion injuries. For example, if your job revolves around a construction site, renting a scissor lift can immediately reduce the risk of workplace injuries. Scissor lifts often help reduce the strain on your workers by positioning heavy items at a more comfortable level for ease of movement.
Label items and use signs
A very simple, inexpensive and effective method to communicate important information to your team is through using labels and signs. These are very straightforward and often offer pictures to show proper procedures and explain hazards. Tools like labels and signs are great tools to use to warn even your most experienced employees of danger.
Offer tools and maintain regular inspections
In order to create a safe and healthy work environment, make sure you provide employees with the tools they need. Regularly clean all equipment and get equipment serviced and inspected. One of the largest hazards in the workplace is malfunctioning machines.
Encourage your team to move around
As easy way to improve ergonomics and health is to take stretch breaks. Even taking just five minutes away from a desk to move around and stretch can lessen muscle tension while simultaneously loosening joints. This small break reduces the likelihood of injuries related to repetitive motion.
As an employer, you need to give your employees the tools and resources they need to be safe. Make it a point to implement these practices to promote employee health and reduce and avoid workplace injuries.
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