If you’re familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you know that safety is the second most important human need, right behind basic necessities such as food, water, sleep, and air.
This means if you’re a business owner, your employees need to feel safe in the workplace before they can focus on the job you hired them for.
Imagine you’re a construction worker operating outdated, rusty machinery with no safety equipment and insurance. In a situation like this, you’ll most likely focus on protecting your life rather than building the house you’re tasked to complete.
5 Tips for Improving Safety in the Workplace
This is why safety is crucial to retaining your employees and creating a positive work environment.
Luckily, there are many federal and state guidelines in place revolving around safety. If you’re complying, you’re in good standing. But, there are further ways you can increase safety in your workplace. Below, we’ll go over five tips for improving the safety and well-being of your employees.
1. Train your employees
The first step to creating a safe work environment is training your employees on safety protocols. After all, how do you expect your employees to practice safe behaviors if they don’t have the knowledge to do so?
Begin by creating a safety manual that outlines safe working habits, such as cleaning up after spills, reading directions, and wearing personal safety equipment. You can also enroll your employees in an online safety course that’s relevant to your industry.
When training your employees, it’s also important to let them know they’re taken care of even if an injury does occur. Accidents happen, and reassuring your employees you’ll take care of them even if they need to take time off from work due to an injury will make them feel appreciated.
This means you should offer them a valuable benefits package, such as insurance and workers’ comp PMB. Offering these benefits will also save your company money from legal fees in the long run, because employees give up their right to sue if they receive compensation.
2. Maintain a clean workspace
The next step to creating a safe work environment is keeping a clean workspace. It’s been found that 30 percent of workers’ compensation cases are from strains and sprains, while 27 percent of cases are from injuries sustained from falls and slips.
Keeping a clean workspace is a great way to lower these percentages and ensure your employees don’t slip, fall, and get hurt. If your work space is cluttered, you will need a well-structured records management program to solve the problem. Having a tidy work environment can help employees feel better overall, since clean spaces help improve efficiency and concentration. Employees who feel safe and have high productivity levels are what it’s all about.
It’s also important to maintain a clean workspace to reduce the likelihood of illnesses and sicknesses. Essential items to keep around the office include:
- All-purpose emergency kits
- Mops, brooms, a dustpan, and a vacuum
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfecting wipes
- A bucket and soap
- Floor cleaning solution
- Diluted bleach mixture
- Paper towels
- Trash bags
3. Hang up signs and labels
It’s easy to not see a spill, small step, or object in the way if you’re busy running from one end of the office to the other – which can result in an injury. To prevent this, hang up safety signs and labels throughout your office, warehouse, or workspace.
This way, your employees and customers will be more aware of their surroundings, even when they’re not paying attention. You can create your own safety signs, or invest in common signs, such as wet floor and caution signs.
4. Equip your employees with the right tools
Without the right protective equipment, your employees can be susceptible to danger and injuries. Investing in personal protective equipment to give to your employees can reduce the likelihood of injuries and illnesses. Some pieces of equipment to give your employees include:
- Safety goggles
- Face masks
- Hard hats
- Steel-toed boots
- Reflective vests
It’s also important to provide safety equipment if you have a fleet of drivers. Some tips to improve driver safety include:
- Installing dash cams and backup cameras
- Install driving technology such as lane-assist
- Investing in fleet tracking software
- Training your drivers
- Buying the latest and safest vehicles
5. Give your employees breaks
When running on empty, it’s hard to give 100 percent. If your workspace deals with potentially dangerous materials and equipment, it’s important to give your workers a break to rest and recharge.
It’s proven that taking breaks, going for a walk, or taking a quick nap can improve productivity and safety. A quick ten minutes to rest and recharge is much better than a potentially fatal injury.
The Bottom Line
Creating a safe work environment is crucial to running a productive business. Serious injuries can impact your employees and even freelancers, which is why it’s important you implement appropriate safety measures.
With these safety tips handy, you’ll have a group of employees ready to get to work happy and excited every day.