7 Workplace Safety Best Practices
Workplace safety has become a huge concern for employers and employees alike. With the rise in workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities, companies realize they need to do more than just post a sign on the door about what to do in case of an emergency. As an employer, it is your responsibility to make the workplace as safe as reasonably possible. Safety should be a top priority for any business as it affects employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
Workplace safety best practices can help your business avoid costly lawsuits or fines – but it’s essential to know which ones apply specifically to you! Read these seven workplace safety best practices for employers and learn how to protect yourself and your employees from accidents and injuries.
1. Training Workers on Safety Protocols
Your workers need to be aware of all safety protocols for them to work safely. Workers should understand what situations they need to report and how and if any other protocols may apply at a particular site – such as wearing steel-toed shoes or not wearing dangling jewelry.
Training can often be done on the job by colleagues who have been trained before, but it’s also crucial for new workers to go through training to know precisely what is expected of them. It can take place one-on-one, in small groups, or over webinars.
Training materials must include details about best practices and requirements set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA has created an online training module called “Safety Smart,” which provides information about protecting workers against common health risks in the workplace.
2. Provisioning of Proper Working Gear
Different jobs require different types of protective gear for safety and efficiency in the workplace. In certain environments, you should provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gloves, safety glasses, and respirator masks.
This equipment is essential to protecting the worker on-site and should be stored in an easily accessible area, where it can be quickly found when needed. Workers who wear gloves or safety glasses as part of their work are less likely to get injured by sharp objects or chemicals that could cause harm if contacted with unprotected skin.
A respirator mask protects the wearer from inhaling harmful particles such as dust, powdery substances, fumes, gases, and other airborne contaminants during work. All PPE must meet appropriate ANSI standards before being used.
Employers should also offer workers information on the health effects of hazardous substances in their work environment and how to avoid being affected by them.
3. Proper Workplace Tools and Equipment Maintenance
Proper tool and equipment maintenance is a critical element of a safe workplace. Safety equipment, scaffolding, and machinery should be maintained to operate safely and efficiently to minimize the risk of injury or death from improper usage.
Workplace managers should ensure that their tools are kept clean, inspected regularly, properly stored after use for safety reasons, well-maintained on a routine basis, and be replaced if worn out or damaged beyond repair.
Routine maintenance on your workplace equipment increases its lifespan and reduces the risk of accidents from poorly maintained machinery. Workplace managers should ensure all tools are kept clean before being stored away, so they don’t contaminate other tools by absorbing contaminants into their surfaces while not using them.
4. A Clearly Outlined Safety Policy
A company’s safety policy is a fundamental way for an organization to show that it cares about its employees. A safety-oriented policy should be written, readily accessible, and updated on schedule, so there are no surprises.
The policy should outline what is expected of all employees in the workplace, safety procedures for emergencies, and any exemptions from the guidelines. It should also outline how to report accidents or incidents not covered under a company’s policies immediately following an incident.
This will help you devise or improvise appropriate measures to prevent future injuries. It also ensures that everyone understands what needs to happen to keep themselves safe at work and how risks can affect them if not addressed quickly enough by management or other team members.
5. Having Effective and Capable Leaders
The best way to create a safety-focused culture is by having the right people in leadership positions. One of the essential qualities a leader should have is empathy, and this can be applied to how employees feel about workplace safety initiatives.
A good employer will set the tone for their organization by modeling all appropriate work ethic, ethical conduct, accountability, and responsibility.
However, the leaders should not be the only ones tasked with safety concerns in the workplace. Instead, you should make sure that every employee understands it’s their responsibility to take an active role in maintaining safety.
6. Regular and Effective Communication
Creating a culture of safety and accountability starts with regular, ongoing communication. Armed with the knowledge given to them by their employer’s communications, employees feel more valued when informed about company values and continuing education on safe practices that will keep everyone around them safer.
Regular updates reinforce values such as respect and accountability, which help shape individual behavior that benefits everyone around them.
7. Bringing in Health and Safety Professionals to the Workplace
Having a health and safety professional talk to your employees and provide an overview of safety practices is a sure way to improve safety awareness in your workplace. In addition, these professionals will answer questions from the floor about common workplace injuries or issues, such as how they should react when a coworker is exposed to hazardous materials in their work area.
Having these experts on hand also makes it easier to comply with OSHA regulations by providing copies of company policies on any given issue. In addition, employers should ensure all employees are aware of what hazards exist in their departments to know what precautions need to be taken.
Contact Our Raleigh Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
By following these best practices and others, you can help protect your employees, as well as help protect your company against liability and lawsuits that can come out of an unsafe work environment. If you need assistance creating policies, or are in a situation where you are working with a claim, reach out to our Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys to schedule a consultation today.