Health and safety in the workplace have changed drastically over the last few years (especially since the pandemic), and in the present, the sector is characterised by continuous improvement, government agencies, complex legislation, and a gradual decrease in workplace accidents.
However, hazards still lurk in the workplace, and accidents still happen, and this will continue to be the case even if companies wrap their employees in cotton wool. Therefore, companies continue to deal with workplace accidents and end up paying compensation for incidents they could have easily avoided.
If you run a business, this doesn’t have to be your case because there are practices you can follow to boost your workplace’s health and safety. Here are the safety precautions you should consider for your business.
Communicate with your team why safety culture is crucial
Workplace safety requires continuous effort, and it’s not just the management’s responsibility but also the workers. So, your organisation should strive to create a safety culture where everyone is accountable for overall safety.
The culture of workplace safety is a set of behaviours and beliefs that a business promotes to boost safety. When you prioritise safety above anything else, you have a positive and strong safety culture your workers will definitely adopt. Therefore, it’s crucial to engage everyone at your company, from the newest recruit to the management board. When you integrate safety into your company culture, your workforce will see it as a mandatory standard they must meet.
When you promote a strong safety culture, your team is empowered to signal the management safety hazards and unsafe conditions they identify, to prevent accidents. In addition, they’re also more productive when they know they work in a safe environment because they’re confident in the processes and their peers.
A successful safety culture boils down to share with your team why safety procedures were created and their daily responsibilities. Safety culture is essential in the UK because it prevents companies from being held liable for workplace accidents.
Identify the key risks
The secret to developing an effective safety plan is identifying the key risks and exposures before developing contingency methods. If you already have a workplace safety plan, pull it out to figure out if the identified risks are still viable. The new workplace safety plan should include:
– Common accident risks. Depending on your industry, your workers could suffer injuries due to slips, falls, trips, driving risks, or overexertion. Do you have measures in place to prevent the most common injury risks?
– Human factors. Unfortunately, human factors are often the main cause of workplace accidents, and it’s essential to limit their impact. It’s easy for new, inexperienced, distracted or rushing employees to make mistakes that lead to an accident. Therefore, scheduling time for your employees to decompress and relieve stress is crucial. And it’s also recommended to assign mentors to new employees to guide them through processes.
– Injury management. Does your company have a plan in place to manage injuries? Plan the process from start to finish to limit the consequences associated with workplace injuries. Train your employees to offer first aid and partner with the right medical providers for emergency help.
Host safety training periodically
Bad news! Workplace accidents don’t happen at a convenient time, so it’s essential to be ready before they occur. Workplace safety is something you built in time, and a foundational part of developing it is by providing your employees with periodical training.
Health and safety experts state that most companies don’t want to think about preparing for workplace hazards until they strike. Please start with the management, and the team leaders who run the company and make them aware of the importance and value of training the workforce and teaching people what to do in an emergency.
Training should cover subjects like hazard prevention and response and should be delivered using diverse methods. OSHA recommends using multiple learning techniques to ensure that all employees become familiar with the rules they must follow during workplace accidents.
Run emergency drills
Suppose your train your workers periodically, and they know what to do in case of an emergency; you can plan drills to test their skills and help them commit to the procedures to muscle memory. Emergency drills also help your team figure out what their response will feel when an accident happens because it clears their senses and gets them to act.
Depending on the kind of accidents your business is prone to the emergency drills can range from slip-and-trip accidents to fire hazards. Introducing unexpected complications into the drills is best to encourage them to adapt and respond effectively.
Provide your workers with proper machinery, equipment and tools
Regardless of your sector, whether your employees engage in physical jobs or not, ensure they follow the guidelines and know how to use all machinery, equipment, and tools required for their jobs. Additionally, following the proper procedure will boost their safety and performance.
When your workers know how to choose the right machinery, equipment, and tools, they lessen the risk of suffering injuries. Ensure all operating machines are fully operational and clean before someone handles them. It’s also crucial that the employees use the equipment only for its intended purpose, as improvisations could lead to life-threatening injuries.
Besides using the proper tools, machinery, and equipment, your employees should also wear protective gear to safeguard themselves from environmental and safety risks. The protective gear is paramount for their safety, especially in industries where they complete physical tasks. Architects, engineers, and construction experts should always wear protective equipment when on the job site to minimise the risk of injuries.
Protective equipment like non slip shoes, reflective clothing, breathing masks, and industrial work gear protect your workers from inhaling toxic chemicals or getting injured from trips, slips, or falls.
Protecting your business is crucial
Above is a list of practices all businesses should implement in 2023 to prevent accidents and boost workplace performance.