Every employer in the United States has a duty of care towards their employees. Workplace safety is a top priority for corporations as injury or illness resulting from unsafe working conditions incurs large penalties. Here are six simple ways that you can improve occupational safety for your business.
Staff should be trained on every aspect of health and safety in the workplace, even if it doesn’t directly affect their job. It is important that any hazards are appropriately highlighted and signed, but you should also give new employees a health and safety tour and show them exactly where these hazards are. If you own multiple locations, then you should give each one a health and safety checklist to work through with new employees, so you can be certain that managers are training them appropriately.
Hire Competent Workers
When interviewing candidates, you should ask them about health and safety. See if they are able to identify common hazards and give examples of their knowledge of workplace safety. If you are hiring people with previous experience in the sector, then they should have picked up the basics from their previous jobs. If you are looking to hire a candidate for a job where advanced occupational health and safety knowledge is of paramount importance, then look for a safety management degree. Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is one of the many universities who offer online degree courses in this field.
Insist on Safety Checks
Lead by example and show your employees that you take occupational safety seriously. Mandate that managers carry out checks when appropriate and encourage workers to be vigilant as they go about their days. If workers see you making safety a priority, then they will follow suit.
Don’t Rush Things
This is particularly important when you are managing building sites, or other projects where there are both deadlines and targets to meet, and lots of heavy machinery and room for injuries. You should encourage your workers to put their safety first. They shouldn’t be working in an unsafe manner in order to meet deadlines. If they are then this is a sign that you are expecting too much!
Wherever there are hazards in the workplace, they need to be clearly marked. This is particularly important for spills, which can cause people to slip and injure themselves. If someone is injured by a hazard that you failed to clearly mark, then you can be held liable and face potentially very expensive, litigation.
Give Workers the Tools That They Need
If your workers don’t have the safety equipment that they require or the tools they need to perform their jobs safely, then you can again be held liable if something goes wrong. You should make ensuring that safety needs are met a top priority when working out our budget. The potential costs, both to your reputation and your finances, for breaching occupational health and safety regulations are huge.
These are just some of the ways that you can improve workplace safety. Consult OSHA for more information.