Many business owners and employees are concerned about preventing illness during the pandemic, but there are other health hazards that can affect your operation as well. Injuries caused by overwork, poor lighting, dangerous worksites, and lack of oversight can cost you in the long run and cause severe damage to employees.
With this in mind, business owners must take adequate precautions to keep employees safe from work-related injuries. Not only could the owners be held legally liable if an employee gets hurt on the job, but they would also lose the employee’s work at the company, forcing them to hire a temporary employee or redistribute the workload. To prevent this, it is vital that business owners work to make a safe work area for their employees. Here are five effective ways employers can help prevent or reduce onsite injuries.
Distribute a Safety Manual
The first way to promote safety in the workplace is to make sure every employee and manager is on the same page. This can be done by creating and enforcing a standardized safety manual. The manual can include things like how to handle risky materials and avoid dangerous missteps, and it should be posted on the company’s website as well as distributed in print form to every department or employee. By creating a safety manual, you can ensure that everyone in your company understands the same rules and can maintain the proper safety standards. This protects them, and everyone else in the company, both from injury and from lawsuits.
Develop an Incentive Program
It can be hard to encourage safety practices among workers, but many work injury prevention programs suggest providing a safety incentive program to encourage everyone’s participation. While it could be competitive between departments, a better approach might be to set safety goals per month or for the year that impact the entire organization. Meeting the goal of, for example, zero serious injuries for six months might result in everyone receiving a bonus or getting a paid day off work. Incentives will serve to help even the lowest paid employees to get involved in safety practices.
Offer Employee Training
Long-time employees as well as new hires need to be updated on new or existing safety policies. The training can be provided in-house by company leaders or a safety coordinator, or it could involve a presenter from the local industry safety commission. New products and equipment should also be explained in detail, preferably with a demonstration, so all employees know how to use things the correct way.
Provide Safety Gear
The company is generally responsible for supplying safety gear like hard hats or steel-toe shoes for heavy-duty work that it requires employees to do. Gloves, masks, and eye protection are also typically kept onsite for employee use as needed. Other items bought by a worker may be reimbursable by the company.
Clearly Label Products and Processes
Manufacturers are required by law to label potentially hazardous or dangerous tools, chemicals, materials, and other substances in large, bold lettering to alert everyone who may use these items. Companies that buy these products should ensure the labeling is clear and accurate over time, and they may want to add more signage or stock certain materials in a locked area for monitored distribution as extra protection.
Getting hurt on the job is bad for employees and the company owners, but protective steps like these will help to protect everyone’s health and safety as well as the company’s well-being.