On-the-job safety is a severe issue that affects American workplaces. OSHA found that in 1970, 38 workers on average died per day from workplace injuries. In 2017, this number was down to 14 workers per day. However, this is still a startling statistic that every business owner should take seriously.
Getting this number down even further starts within your own place of work, whether you are self-employed or work for another company.
Check out these five ways to improve safety measures in your current workplace.
1. Stay on Top of Training
Comprehensive training is a necessity when it comes to promoting workplace safety.
When employees go through the proper training, they will learn vital hard and soft skills. Depending on the industry they’re in, they will learn to:
- Handle hazardous chemicals and waste
- Operate heavy machinery
- Be aware of their surroundings at all times
- Clean their workstations properly to eliminate hazards
When you bring new employees on, be sure to show them the ropes from the get-go. This will prevent a lot of headaches down the road. For your current workers, administer the necessary ongoing training to keep them up to date on industry best practices.
However, you will should also stay on top of your field’s latest news, safety protocol, and local laws. According to the team at contractortrainingcenter.com, this is especially true for contractors that work on dangerous construction sets and home improvement jobs.
2. Reward Employees for Participating in Safe Behavior
Don’t allow your employees’ good behavior to go unnoticed. The power of reinforcement can encourage coworkers to do the same and make your workplace an overall safer environment. The rewards don’t have to be big: tickets to a local event, a free meal, or even words of praise will go a long way.
Whenever you see employees engaged in proper workplace safety, be sure to acknowledge this behavior in one way or another.
3. Set Up Labels & Signs When Pertinent
Using labels and signs is a cheap and effective way to promote workplace safety. They convey essential information directly to those who need to see it. These labels and signs are often brief and concise and contain pictures that detail hazards and appropriate procedures to follow.
Each workplace will present different hazards, so you must make the appropriate adjustments. Some workplaces will have chemical and biohazards, while others may have ergonomic, physical, or electrical ones.
Distinguish between these different kinds of hazards for your employees and ensure they understand them before beginning potentially dangerous tasks. Using Floor Marking Tape can also be helpful when delineating hazardous areas.
4. Encourage Breaks
Well-rested and alert employees are much less likely to get injured than tired and overworked people. Encourage employees to take their designated breaks and to speak up if they need a couple of extra five-minute breaks throughout the day.
Don’t overwork your employees, and always abide by work laws. This way, your employees will always be ready to perform their best.
5. Facilitate Communication
Always keep an open dialogue with your employees. Encourage them to come to you with questions and listen to employees’ suggestions regarding on-the-job safety. Implement their criticism and feedback when it’s reasonable.
Let them know that no accident or near miss is too insignificant to report. Come into work every day with a listening, non-judgmental ear.
As a leader in the workplace, you should also know how to communicate with third parties in the event an injury occurs. This way, you can seek the medical help your employees need to recover and figure out ways to prevent this from occurring in the future.
Drastic change to the safety of the average American workplace can begin right in your current place of employment. Share these five tips with your co-workers as well as your superiors!