Workplace safety is important, and it’s not something you can afford to minimize. When there are breaches, people get injured and even die. Legal action is often taken against companies, and huge sums have been required in compensation. Such events can seriously damage the reputation of a business, reduce staff morale and even cause a company to collapse.
If you have the responsibility for workplace safety upon your shoulders, this article will help you understand the different areas you need to keep in order.
It’s really important to establish a clear definition of what this is and how it should be handled. There are many different behaviors that fall under this category, such as:
- Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for favors
- Verbal comments about an individual’s body or dress that suggest sexuality
- Offensive jokes that reference gender/sexuality
- Touching in ways that make someone uncomfortable
- Threats against people if they don’t comply with certain actions
- Physical assault resulting from refusal to consent to demands, including rape.
Alongside publicizing your sexual harassment policy, external companies can help you train your staff. A visit to this website shows that businesses often want a free demo and ask about fines and compliance. Third parties can often provide training in different languages that are self-paced, competitively priced, and able to be completed using mobiles and tablets.
Although there may be some general equipment you can buy, it will largely depend on the safety issues arising within your specific workplace. You could consider safety glasses or goggles, ear protection or muffs, protective gloves, boots, or hard hats. You may also need respirators, filters, and dust masks if there will be jobs involving air particles.
A full list of safety equipment can be found online but it’s important to consult with a safety professional before purchasing it for your company, to ensure you have covered everything.
First Aid Kits
Have these strategically placed in different areas of the workplace and ensure that everyone knows where they are located. Make it mandatory for every worker to take a refresher course on how to use the contents of the first aid kits at least once a year. Your first aid kit should contain treatment for cuts, burns, and injuries. Some of the contents you should include are:
- Bandages of different sizes
- Cotton swabs or rolls
- Antiseptics that won’t sting the wound
- Antibiotic cream to fight infection
- Sticking plasters
If an injury requires more serious treatment get help from experts immediately instead of trying to handle it yourself. This especially applies to people who have sustained neck or back injuries.
You should have trained and qualified first aiders who are familiar with the contents of the first aid kit. They should also have an understanding of how to apply basic medical care before calling 911 or reaching out to a manager or supervisor.
They should be trained in CPR and other lifesaving techniques in case someone has an accident or becomes ill at work. It’s also worth advising them of the kind of injuries that can occur in your specific working environment.
Your Work Machinery
In order to prevent accidents or being sued by employees/visitors, you need to keep your equipment in good working order. This means you need to schedule regular maintenance and servicing so that it’s less likely to break down and potentially cause injury. If your equipment is upgraded or the work processes change in any way, don’t allow people to use it until they have been sufficiently trained. Don’t allow new staff to use the machinery unsupervised until they are fully competent.
You need to perform regular audits to ensure everything is maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Ask a qualified technician to check the equipment for any defects or malfunctions before use. Keep records of all services, repairs, parts ordered, etc., clearly indicating the date of each assessment.
Make sure your workplace is safe and tidy before people arrive in the morning by removing anything that could cause harm. One cause of accidents in the workplace is clutter. If it’s lying around your work area it could be a trip hazard, potentially leading to injury or death.
You should change any unsafe practices such as storing heavy items on top of desks and cupboards. To avoid issues with electric shocks you should make sure that all cables and wires are safely tucked away. Another factor is water: if there’s a leak it could lead to slips or flooding. It’s also worth mentioning that water and electricity don’t mix; they can increase the possibility of someone being electrocuted.
You should have an accident book where you log all incidents and keep records of injuries. Have equipment like fire extinguishers and eyewash stations in key areas to save valuable time in the event of an emergency.
It’s important for your staff to take care of themselves, and it can affect others if they don’t. If someone is tired or unhealthy, they could cause accidents or spread infections. If people are expected to work long shifts without regular breaks, they can become low on concentration and become prone to making mistakes. Supervise your staff when they are working with chemicals/hazardous materials. Make sure your employees are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol whilst working, either.
Distractions can also make a workplace dangerous. They can be anything from unauthorized visitors to loud music or mobile phones. Make sure your employees are well enough to be fully aware of their surroundings. If they can’t see or hear sufficiently to do their job, they should be given alternative tasks for the sake of safety.
It’s wise to create a safety manual for your company that includes both procedures and policies. When you have a safe working environment with well-maintained equipment and fully trained staff, everyone will reap the benefits. Work will become both enjoyable and safe, and people will be happy to remain employed by you.