There are more than 2.6 million workplace accidents or illnesses reported in the United States every year. More than 5,000 of those incidents prove fatal. And nearly all of them are preventable.
Workplace safety is a pressing concern for every business, no matter the size. And everyone on your team is responsible for maintaining a safe work environment at all times.
To that end, here are some key elements of every workplace safety plan:
Ensure Safety With Proper Training
While some workplace hazards are obvious, others may strike when you least expect them. You and your team always need to be ready to respond to potential dangers at a moment’s notice. That means investing in intensive safety training.
If possible, seek out OSHA compliance training. OSHA is the governing safety body for most industries, so your team should hold themselves to those standards. This will not only help ensure everyone’s safety but that your organization complies with any relevant regulations.
Suppose you operate a shipyard, for example. Having your team submit to OSHA shipyard training will reinforce the knowledge necessary to avoid common shipyard hazards. Similar training courses are available for most industries.
Reinforce the Importance of Safety Culture
“Safety culture” describes the set of safety behaviors that an organization practices on a day-to-day basis. For example, a company that makes safety its top priority would be said to practice positive safety culture. An organization that encourages employees to cut corners to save time, effort, or money has a negative safety culture.
Training your employees is well and good, but only when that training is reinforced through a workplace culture that demands that every team member do every task the right way, rather than the quick or easy way.
Encourage Situational Awareness
A worksite can be rife with distractions. Amongst all the background noise and activity of a bustling business, a potential hazard may escape notice until it’s too late.
In addition to encouraging employees to perform tasks the right way every time, you should also stress the importance of taking stock of their surroundings. And if something doesn’t seem right, employees should feel confident in voicing their concerns. “If you see something, say something,” should be a workplace motto.
Provide Safety Equipment and PPE
Not all workplace hazards are possible to avoid. Some industries, by their very nature, can expose employees to dangerous substances, extreme conditions, or any number of other dangers.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) and other gear can help mitigate these risks. A modest investment in equipment is well-worth keeping your team safe and healthy.
Run Routine Safety Drills
Teaching employees proper procedures and a safety-positive attitude are great, but those qualities need to be reinforced through practice.
That’s not to say that you need to run emergency drills every week. But they should be frequent enough that every employee knows how to respond to an incident and can commit those actions to muscle memory.
Everyone Is Responsible for a Safe Work Environment
It’s the responsibility of management to ensure safety of employees at a work site. At the same time, each worker needs to follow procedures to keep themselves, their coworkers, and any customers or clients safe. Your entire team needs to work in tandem to make sure everyone makes it home at the end of the day.
This workplace safety advice is crucial to keeping work running smoothly. But it’s not the only concern for a growing business. For more guides like this, be sure to check out our other posts.