When employees go into the workplace each day, they are essentially putting their health and well-being in the hands of the employer.
All employers have the duty of making their workplace as safe as possible for those who work in the building, to prevent accidents and disasters from happening.
Regardless of whether you have five, or one hundred employees at your company, employee safety should never be overlooked. It’s an unfortunate fact, that many businesses are uneducated in the basics of workplace safety, and would not have a plan in place if the worst-case scenario should occur…
In the following guide, we take a look at some of the best ways to make your workplace a safer environment.
1. Health and safety training
Upon enrollment with a company, all new employees should have formal health and safety training around the premises and be told what to do in an emergency.
Next, it is important to inform workers how to use equipment and carry out their tasks in the safest way.
All employees should undergo a full health and safety program each year, to refresh their memories and ensure they’re aware of how to keep themselves and others safe, if an emergency were to occur.
2· Assess possible risks
Regardless of how safe you believe your workplace to be, there will always be the element of risk present. It is a legal requirement to assess the possible risks that may pose injury or ill health.
If some risks cannot be avoided, you’ll need to put strategies in place to minimize the hazards, to ensure the safety of all employees. A risk assessment will evaluate:
- How dangerous the risk is
- Ways to control the risk
- How quickly you need to take action
3· Appoint health and safety leaders
Employees are much more likely to follow rules and adhere to safety regulations, if they are under the control of good leaders.
In some corporations, workplace safety is often ignored if employees are left to their own devices, meaning accidents and injuries are more likely to occur.
Ensure you hire individuals who are not afraid to step into a managerial role to oversee the welfare, and compliance, of employees. Staff need reassurance that their safety is paramount, and should know they are expected to stick to the rules.
4· Provide comfortable working conditions
Regardless of the type of environment your workplace offers, all employees should feel comfortable in the workplace while carrying out their job. Some of the factors that need to be addressed include:
- A comfortable temperature indoors (depending on either the summer or winter)
- Good ventilation
- The use of appropriate equipment and ergonomic office furniture (for posture and support)
- Ample workspace
- Sufficient natural light
5· Use signs around the premises
The quickest way to get important information across to employees is through the use of signs. These small but effective reminders help employees act quickly and detect potential hazards before they happen.
Even if you have not had much of an employee turnover in the last few years, it is still easy to forget the basic rules, so these tiny notices can make a big difference in workplace safety.
6· Top up your first aid equipment
Although you may have tried to make your workplace as safe as possible, accidents can still happen beyond your control.
With this in mind, you should always be prepared for worst-case scenarios. It would be wise to appoint a couple of staff members to train in first aid and treat the injured person, before taking the relevant next steps.
The minimum first aid procedures in any workplace should include a fully stocked first aid supplies box and PPE, as well as ensuring that all employees are aware of first-aid arrangements.
7· Encourage regular breaks
Encouraging regular breaks is beneficial to both physical and mental health and should play a key role in workplace safetyThis true in all job roles – whether they are sitting for hours at a computer with very little movement or carrying out strenuous manual labor and need to take rest.
What’s more, short breaks throughout the day have proven to keep employee stress levels down by stopping the brain from becoming overloaded with information.
Taking just a couple of minutes out every hour can prevent possible injury, reduce muscle tension and give workers some time and space to refresh the body and mind.
8· Understand serious medical conditions
When it comes to employee safety and wellbeing, it’s important to have some familiarity with common medical conditions that could become life-threatening without immediate intervention. Some conditions to be aware of include:
- Heart attack
- Respiratory conditions (asthma, allergies, choking).
By undertaking the relevant training, you’ll be much more likely to notice the warning signs and react accordingly which could save someone’s life.
We hope that this guide has given you some useful information on how to handle health and safety concerns in the workplace. If you are in the market for a new office, our friends at Turnkey Office Space have a wide variety of state-of-the-art locations to choose from.
Although it may take time and money to update your current safety procedures, these changes will certainly be worth it in the long run with the peace of mind that your employees’ safety is at the top of the agenda.