What are the best ways that you, as the employer, can prioritize safety in your workplace environment? Cultivating a safe atmosphere for your employees is not just a benefit, many of the practices are mandated by state and federal law. To keep your policies up-to-date, make sure you’re reviewing and updating your handbook and training each year. The following tips will help you create a safe and healthy workplace environment.
1. Understand how safety benefits your entire working community
Safety is one of the foundational goals for any employer. You’ll want to make your employees feel comfortable performing day-to-day responsibilities. A safe work environment will undoubtedly protect you and your workers from harm and/or potential lawsuits. Each year, our country spends more than $170 billion on workplace injuries. When safety is not prioritized, employees may experience loss of life or severe illness, stress, loss of income and/or loss of job. Additionally, employers face challenges as well including production losses, increased workers compensation insurance costs, damage to machinery, decline in morale, and higher turnover rate.
Employers who understand these risks have a much better incentive to creating safe work environments.
2. Keep Track of your responsibilities
Be sure that you’re aware of all state and federal changes in workplace safety. This goes hand in hand with reviewing your handbook annually. By keeping on top of the legal requirements, you’ll have your employees best interests and health in mind.
3. Create an organized system
If you’re working in a hazardous materials industry, safety will be a top priority. Complying with OSHA is only the first step. You’ll want to develop a rigorous training and have procedures in place for identifying and containing hazardous or harmful events. One of the best ways is to involve the entirety of your staff. Be sure to listen to any complaints or suggestions from your employees. Rely on your management to assist in any/all events.
4. Utilize OSHA and beyond
As an employee, you’ll want to understand OSHA and the protection it provides for employees. OSHA mandates that all employers are guaranteed the right to a safe workplace. This includes that employees:
- Be trained in a language you understand
- Work on machines that are safe
- Be provided required safety gear, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls
- Be protected from toxic chemicals
- Request an OSHA inspection, and speak to the inspector
- Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records
- See copies of the workplace injury and illness log
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses
- Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace
In addition to federal requirements, consider adopting your industry’s best safety practices. While this may mean more work on your end, you’ll attract and retain a better workforce when you, as the employer, dedicated your efforts to providing a consistently safe atmosphere.
5. Do your homework
In order to implement the best systems and the best practices for your company, you’ll need to perform consistent research. Safety Works! outlines an effective system.
- Identify the problem
- Research the condition by:
- Reading related incidents across your industry
- Collecting information from the Department Labor
- Implementing employee surveys
- Examine chemical lists
- Analyze the information you collect
- Decide on changes to make
- Implement those changes in your workforce
- Evaluate the changes
6. Get help
If you have questions about the proceeding information or if you’d like a consultant to review your current policies or safety guidelines, Koppekin Consulting is happy to help. Contact Stephen today!