Creating a safe work environment is, frankly, good for the bottom line. The estimated annual cost of workplace illness, injury, and death works out to approximately $171 billion. While businesses don’t bear the brunt of those costs alone, it still hits your profit margin hard.
Beyond purely financial considerations, a strong culture of workplace safety demonstrates an active mentality of caring for employees. Of course, that still leaves you with the pesky problem of how you create a safe work environment.
Keep reading for some key tips that will help you build a safer workplace.
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Granted, not every job is a high-risk occupation where training means the difference between life and death. Yet, any work environment has the potential for injury.
Make sure that safety training is part of your onboarding program and that all employees get a refresher at least once a year. If your business is primarily office-based, focus on things like injury prevention through proper lifting techniques and ergonomics.
If employees deal with hazardous materials or equipment, make sure a supervisor walks them through safety procedures.
Employee Wellness Programs
Many employee wellness programs focus on physical health, nutrition, and fitness. These are great as poor nutrition, health, and fitness can make employees more prone to illness or injury.
Ideally, though, this kind of program will also have a component devoted to employee well-being. Issues like stress or personal losses can derail otherwise excellent employees.
Providing them with resources, such as numbers for support lines, or on-site counseling can go a long way to keeping employees on an even keel.
It’s probably going too far to say that a clean workplace is a happy workplace, but a clean workplace is a healthier and safer workplace. Part of that is maintaining good cleaning procedures in the workplace, such as emptying trash bins.
You should also make an effort to encourage good hygiene among the workers. You can put up hand sanitizer dispensers around the office to help reduce contact-based illness transmission.
If you even suspect that you have a pest problem, call in some commercial pest control services. Pests often serve as disease vectors.
Where appropriate, your business should use signage to indicate risk factors. For example, every business should keep a few wet floor signs around. For more industrial operations, you might post signs for hardhats required or other hazards, like an electrical shock hazard sign.
Building a Safe Work Environment
Building a safe work environment starts with a commitment from the top. The business owner or the company executives must decide that workplace safety matters, then invest time and money into supporting it.
Always start with major areas of concern, such as training, signage, hygiene, and employee wellness programs. Just making sure everyone has the right training can do a lot.
When in doubt, though, ask for employee feedback and suggestions. They’ll tell you what safety issues concern them.
Looking for more business tips? Check out some of the other posts in our Business category.