Do you own your own small business? Is it challenging to get everyone to follow the rules at all times when it comes to staying safe? And is it even more challenging to enforce these safety measures? Preventing workplace injuries should be one of your top priorities.
Workplace injuries account for the majority of injuries on the job and employees missing work dates throughout the work year. This can cost you thousands of dollars and lost time and wages for your employees. Finding ways to help everyone stick to the rules and guidelines is important.
Here are just a few examples of different ways that you can help motivate your workers.
Provide the Right Safety Equipment
While everyone who works for you and enters the building needs to follow a set of rules and instructions to avoid injury, you need to provide the right safety equipment. Each employee should have access to applicable safety gear, including:
- Gloves and fire retardant coverings.
- Proper safety glasses and eyewear.
- Chemical proof gowns and gear.
- Hearing protection.
- Safety helmets.
- Fire protection gear.
- Steel toe work boots and shoes.
You can make your employees pay for these items or have them available for purchase or daily usage. It’s up to you and your company policies if you want to pay for specific employee’s prescription safety glasses. Just make sure that your building is stocked with these safety items, so you can avoid downtime and having to send employees home at the last minute.
Have a Complete Safety Inspection
One of the first things you should do is hire an independent safety inspector to come to your shop and inspect your entire building. Your main goal is to have a safe and thriving work environment with minimal risks for injury. This starts with a safety inspector going over all aspects of your building and property, including:
- Making sure all equipment and tools are functioning properly and safety guards are in place.
- All employees are properly trained for their position.
- A no-substance abuse policy is in place.
- Environmental protection and safety are operating correctly.
- Hazardous materials are disposed of properly.
- Food and water standards are safe and effective.
- Work area is kept clean and debris free for safety.
It’s important that the work environment you provide to your employees is safe for them to carry out their daily job tasks. Also, keep in mind that you must accompany anyone who has special needs in relation to getting their work done properly on a daily basis. A safety inspector will be able to do a complete evaluation and provide the proper feedback if needed. From there, be sure to document all issues and address them right away.
Informative Staff Meeting
After you acknowledge what safety issues are imperative to be fixed, you need to share these changes or upgrades with your staff. Start with a one-on-one staff meeting with everyone in attendance. This allows you to have an open forum about the risk of injuries in your building and how you want to prevent them from happening in the future. Any safety concerns that your employees have can be brought up at this time.
If understanding or following through with safety rules and measures is a problem at your workplace, it may be time to hold employees responsible when they don’t follow the rules. This starts with creating an employee agreement that addresses that everyone has read the rules and regulations set forth by you and your safety manager. From there, they will have to initial each page or paragraph and then sign and date the agreement. This is important to have in each employee file, so you can record the event. Having this on file may help you should an employee violate the rules, become injured and then sue your company for damages.
Preventing workplace injuries is important. One of the best ways that you can help resolve a potential problem from occurring is to always have a set safety plan in place. It’s imperative that you give your employees the right tools to conduct themselves in a safe and effective manner. The result is a thriving and effective workplace with employees who are committed to safety on the job.