Implementing workplace safety best practices is essential for businesses of all sizes when looking to not only reduce risks of injury or illness occurring at work, but also to allow your business to flourish.
While workplace safety is often an area that is overlooked, as our Coronavirus return to work blog post highlighted, it is more critical than ever in this changing landscape to protect both employee and employer.
In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best workplace safety tips that your business can implement to ensure you are both compliant and set up for long-term success.
What Is The Importance Of Workplace Safety?
When considering workplace safety, taking a comprehensive risk management approach is beneficial to both employer and employee and protects your business not just today, but also in the long run.
It is especially important for customer-facing industries to take a comprehensive approach to workplace safety, because they have the double task of ensuring both employee and customer safety in physical locations.
This additional complexity exponentially increases the necessity of not only developing sound processes and procedures, but tracking and capturing documented evidence that they were followed. EHS Software can be imperative in managing this process.
Important Workplace Safety Statistics
The evolving risks associated with re-opening will only increase the likelihood of companies being found guilty of negligence. Below are some of the most important workplace safety statistics that highlight just how important it is to protect your employees from potential injury. (Source: Work Injury Source)
Average number of workers injured: 2.8 per 100 Full Time equivalent workers
Most common workplace injuries: sprain, strains or tears
Most common cause of workplace injury: overexertion
Most common safety violation: inadequate fall protection
What we can also see is that some of the most common injuries are preventable.
7 Best Workplace Safety Tips
From big picture solutions to actionable quick wins, below we cover some of the best workplace safety tips that your business can implement to make sure that you are protecting everybody within your organization.
Tip #1: Identify Potential Safety Risks
The first of our workplace safety tips is to leverage risk management software to map out all potential safety risks in one place. This allows you to think about all of the areas of your business and really understand the impact of the various workplace safety risks that your business faces.
Tip #2: Create An Action Plan
Once you’ve mapped out the safety risks that your business faces, it is time to create an action plan to tackle them. Start by developing plans for the most impactful areas and continue to build out action items from there.
Tip #3: Keep Your Plans Up To Date
Things can change rapidly in business, and the same goes with workplace safety. For example, most people would have never predicted the changes to their business that resulted from the impact of Coronavirus and the reopening effects.
Coronavirus highlighted just why business continuity planning is so important, and specifically why staying on top of your plans is imperative.
Tip #4: Provide Suitable Work Equipment
Our fourth tip is to provide suitable work equipment for your colleagues when it comes to workplace safety. Depending on your industry, this can mean a variety of things: if your staff spends the majority of their time at a desk computer, invest in proper technology and comfortable seating. If your organization is in a retail space where employees are on their feet all day, be sure to offer suitable footwear.
Tip #5: Encourage Employee Breaks
As the world gets busier, so does the workplace. People are more likely than ever to feel like they are nearing “burnout.” A great way to counteract burnout is by introducing a policy to encourage colleagues to take regular breaks. Be sure to also check in with your employees to ensure they are using their annual leave allowance.
Tip #6: Understand Your Employees Needs
Take the opportunity at your employee’s start date and recurring reviews to ask if they have any specific workplace safety needs. This will certify that you have not missed anything that you maybe wouldn’t have originally thought to consider.
Tip #7: Provide Open Communication
No matter your industry or where you fall within your organization, it is always important to provide an open line of communication for colleagues to express both their ideas and concerns. Open communication not only shows employees that their needs are valued, but increases the likelihood that they share any safety concerns with you.
Workplace Safety Habits
Looking for some specific examples of good workplace safety habits? We’ll cover just a few specific examples that are commonplace across a range of industries below:
Avoiding cords and wires running across high foot traffic areas
Providing adjustable desks to ensure colleagues can both stand and sit throughout the day
Training employees properly on using equipment that may be a safety hazard
Onboarding with a focus on understanding colleagues’ specific safety requirements.
Creating company policies that encourage employees to respect safety requirements
Covid-19 Workplace Safety Examples
Below are a few examples of workplace safety habits that are aimed specifically towards minimizing the risk of spreading coronavirus:
Providing hand sanitizer access to all employees
Cleaning surfaces regularly
Creating a log of who has entered/exited the work building
Providing masks to all
Tracking and reporting incidents of colleagues feeling unwell
Ensuring social distancing guidelines are followed
Now that you’ve learned some of the best workplace safety tips of 2020, it is essential to enact them within your organization. Having the right policies enabled through strong action plans will help you manage workplace safety, which in 2020 has proved to be an imperative business area.
There’s no question that workplace safety is in the spotlight this year, and with our guide to help your business tackle the Coronavirus pandemic, you can ensure that you have the right tools. Prepare yourself a step further by reviewing our Return to Work Checklist.
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