Maintaining a safe workplace by ensuring health and safety regulations are in place is essential for avoiding accidents and keeping a high level of productivity. However, meeting that goal is not always straightforward, especially when companies are large or have numerous departments. Following best practices is an ideal way to get started and emphasize that safety is a necessity.
Make health and safety training part of employee onboarding
The onboarding process for an employee contains the information they need to start off on the right foot at a new job.
It often consists of filling out tax paperwork, learning about benefits packages, and receiving the login information for any tools or platforms a company uses.
However, it’s ideal for an onboarding period to also have training about health and safety at work. When employees learn about that crucial topic right away, they’ll be more likely to understand and recognize that the company cares about avoiding hazards and emphasizing well-being.
Minimize outdoor hazards
If any members of your team work outside for extended periods of time, they’re at an elevated risk of prolonged exposure to the elements.
For example, if people spend time in warm, sunny conditions, they should follow sun safety precautions, such as wearing sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15 or higher.
Employers have responsibilities to safeguard workers from the sun, too. They can start by providing shaded areas, such as by setting up tents.
Another smart action to take is to reduce the number of hours spent working during the hottest part of the day. The sun is a potential hazard that comes to mind often, but there are others to consider. They include:
- Biting/stinging insects
Employers must do what they can to reduce the environmental hazards associated with outdoor work while realizing that there is no universal solution to cover all of them. For example, whereas the safest thing to do during the threat of lightning is to stop working outside until the storm passes, dealing with the threat of frostbite involves ensuring that workers have the proper gear for the temperatures associated with their roles.
Monitor for improper movements
People can get hurt when doing relatively simple movements, including:
In many cases, injuries happen because people don’t know how to keep their bodies in the proper alignment or reduce unnecessary movements that cause strain.
Consider placing health & wellness safety posters in prominent places so that people can see them and reinforce their knowledge about how to stay safe.
Teach people the right ways to perform repetitive movements while at work so they reduce their likelihood of getting hurt. It’s also wise to look for signs of fatigue and know when to recommend that a person takes a break.
Create a safety culture
It’s ideal if people perceive that staying safe is not something people at your company do once an accident happens. They should see that safety is a foundational part of what defines your company. Building a safety culture is not easy, but organizations often find it incredibly worthwhile.
Begin by getting a commitment from the decision-makers in the workplace. Having a top-down approach makes it easy to spread safe practices through the enterprise as a whole. Communication is also a key ingredient. If employees at every level don’t understand their role in prioritizing safety, they are more likely to unwittingly behave in unsafe ways or simply not see why safety matters.
Upholding a safe work environment encompasses many factors, from health & wellness safety posters to the gear people wear while on the job. These tips will help you move in the right direction for making safe practices happen in your organization. View safety as an ongoing goal, and you’re already in a great mindset.