Why Preparation is Key to Safety in the Workplace
As an employer, safety in the workplace is your responsibility, but so many companies don’t take employee safety seriously. Too many of us work under the “it won’t happen to us” mentality but the truth is that it can and it often will when you least expect it. Your employees come to work each and every day expecting that they won’t run into danger, and while it can’t always be avoided, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood.
Here are 4 tips for safety in the workplace:
- Provide proper training: When it comes to safety in the workplace, this is where it all needs to begin at the employee level. Regardless of the type of position, you need to ensure that employees are properly trained. If they are working with dangerous machinery, they need to know how to use it properly. Employees also need to be briefed on emergency plans. Consider creating an employee safety booklet that can be used for all new hires and can be customized for the position. It will make training easier and hopefully reduce the potential for injury.
- Make sure you are in compliance with OSHA requirements: “OSHA’s mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” It is important that employers understand the rules, regulations and standards that they must comply with to avoid ramifications.
- Have an emergency response plan: You should have a plan in place for any emergency. Are you prepared to deal with a quick evacuation or a lock down? Plan ahead for all potential emergencies regardless of if the chances of occurrence are low. You should have a couple employees that will lead the response plan and you need to remember to re-evaluate and alter the plan each year.
- Don’t ignore the potential for violence: Most people attribute safety in the workplace with injuries, but don’t forget about violence. Especially in these days when it seems like school and workplace shootings are becoming much too common, you need to be prepared. Would you know what to do if an old disgruntled employee came in and started a shooting spree in your office? Probably not. The last thing you want to happen is for everyone to go into panic mode so expect the worst and have a plan in place.
- Understand your insurance policies: This is a big one. Sometimes, you can’t avoid an accident, but you need to understand what type of insurance policies you have in place and what type of coverage you will receive in the event of an emergency or injury. So many companies simply renew their insurance plans without taking into account changes in the company. Make sure that you perform an annual insurance check-up to ensure you have the coverage you need.
Encourage all your employees to be aware of their surroundings and be sure to hold the occasional safety meeting to reinforce this. The best defense you have when it comes to safety in the work place is preparation. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Most importantly, take steps to safeguard your company and its assets in the event that an emergency does occur. Click here to learn more about safety in the workplace and how to protect your business.