Running a workplace comes with many challenges and interesting situations. Working with other people means taking care of their health and safety, especially if you are the boss. This is something many of us have to learn very quickly when moving into positions of power or management.
In this article we will discuss how to effectively improve the safety standards of a workplace, why that’s important, and more.
Why is Health and Safety Important
Health and safety standards are extremely important within the workplace. You wouldn’t want to visit an office, shop, theatre, or restaurant where the owners had no regard for your safety, so you shouldn’t expect anyone else to work in these conditions. Plus, the last thing you need as a business owner is a lawsuit on your hands (more on that later!) Safety standards at work are part of creating a healthy and happy working environment, as well as helping to encourage hard work and good behavior.
Bad Standards Repercussions
Without implementing proper safety procedures, you can quickly find yourself in a bit of trouble. The legal professionals at https://www.gartlaninjurylaw.com/daleville/ explain that employee vs employer lawsuits are on the rise, as employees challenge their rights around safety in the workplace. If you are found to be negligent when it comes to safety standards, you can be sued for a variety of costs. The employee could sue you for rehabilitation, physical and mental damages, medical expenses, lost salary, as well as a variety of other general damages. It’s also bad for your company image and reputation if you have to regularly deal with legal matters regarding health and safety.
One of the key ways to improve health and safety standards in the workplace is by training employees of all levels in these matters. Safety is not a matter for managers or owners only to be aware of. Instead, all employees should have mandatory health and safety education. This should include courses, conversations, and even tests to pass. This way, you can spread the responsibility for staying safe and reporting issues amongst everyone.
Safety Meetings and Leaders
Moving forward from basic training for all staff, you should also have regular meetings regarding H&S. These meetings are a good chance for everyone in the team to raise any issues or concerns, which can help you solve issues before they become dangerous. You could also encourage certain members of staff to become safety leaders or marshals. Giving some staff the extra responsibility to manage, monitor, and report safety issues eases the burden slightly. Make sure they are well trained and trustworthy, of course!
Ergonomics and Occupational Therapists
A great thing to consider is bringing in an occupational therapist and/or design expert into your workplace. You may well have spent plenty of time looking for hazards, problems, and dangers in your workplace but you might not have found them all. Occupational therapists and ergonomics experts can look at your office or space and tell you what little parts – which may not be obvious to you – might slowly be causing your staff health problems. Poor flooring surface or structure, for example, could lead to long-term back pain.
This sounds extremely simple, but it is always worth noting that proper signage can make a huge difference. It’s safety 101, really! Wherever you see even the slightest of hazards, it needs to be clearly signed so that everyone is aware of the potential risk. Whether that’s hot water, dangerous chemicals, or a trip hazard, you need to put a big bright sign up so that everyone has the chance to spot it. Failure to do this sort of signage can certainly lead to lawsuits, too.
Finally, something that more and more business owners are realizing and starting to do is to promote health within your staff, Encourage flexitime so staff can feel rested, and take breaks when needed. Offer a wellness budget so staff can have some money contributed towards a gym membership. Stock the staff rooms with healthy foods and juices instead of cakes and soft drinks. Anything you can do to promote health at work will create a safer environment as your staff feel fresher and more focused, as well as helping build a happier workforce.
Following these simple steps can help improve your workplace’s safety standards quickly and efficiently. They will help you avoid potentially tragic accidents at work, as well as hopefully stopping any kind of expensive legal proceedings. Remember, everyone has the right to feel safe and confident at work, and it’s your job to help them do so.