Businesses depend on the contribution and enthusiasm of their employees. Employees, in turn, tend to be more motivated when their safety is ensured. Not only will there be less absenteeism as a direct result of injury and stress, but you’ll create a more diffuse feeling of goodwill, shared by the entire workforce.
Workplaces which fail to take adequate precautions expose themselves to legal risk. Injured employees might bring in employment solicitors to fight their case for them, which imposes a reputational and financial cost on the entire organisation.
So how can we keep our employees safe? Let’s take a look.
If you don’t understand the shape of the problem, then you can’t begin to deal with it. A risk assessment is a formal means of exposing all of the smaller problems which might pose a threat to employee safety. Having conducted the risk assessment, you’ll be left with a list of smaller problems to contend with, which you can move through methodically, implementing fixes and scheduling regular reviews to see whether those fixes have actually improved results.
If equipment isn’t properly looked after, then it might pose a threat to life and limb. This applies especially in industrial and construction environments. A poorly-assembled scaffold might collapse, rickety table-saw might cause someone to lose a finger. Scheduling regular maintenance and inspection will help to ensure that these problems are avoided.
The most important piece of safety equipment in any workplace is the human brain. If you can train staff to seek out and identify would-be risks, then you can make them that much more effective at coping with them. Make training a regular feature in your work year, and ensure that it forms a part of any induction.
Maintain a Dialogue
Your staff will have a natural interest in ensuring their own safety. Occasionally, they may identify problems before your formal risk assessment has gotten around to doing so. By maintaining a constant dialogue between staff and management, you’ll ensure that these issues are raised and dealt with quickly. This in turn will cause employees to feel that they are trusted and valued, and that their safety is being taken seriously. This positivity will make the workplace a more pleasant place to be. If you don’t have a HR department, then appoint a given person to take charge of collecting employee feedback.