Regardless of whether it’s a standard office space or an outdoor construction site, occupational hazards are something every employer will need to mitigate in order to provide a healthy and safe working environment for their employees.
Below are some workplace health and safety tips you can implement to ensure employee safety as we venture into the new year, and if you want to go the extra mile, you can get a consultation from a professional H & S inspector such as Howlett Health & Safety Services to get some more personalized advice going into the new year.
Invest in Quality PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) became a hot topic, not just in the medical field but in many other industries.
As an employer, you need to adopt this trend by taking a look at your employee’s uniform requirements and figuring out what improvements and modern technology can be utilized to make them better.
For example, in the trades industry, you can now find work men’s trousers equipped with fire resistance, 3D cooling systems, bio-motion support, microbial protection, and sun safety. Providing your employees with the right kind of protection ensures that they worry less about safety and focus more on productivity.
Encourage Situational Awareness
The fact is, workplace incidents cannot be avoided one hundred percent of the time, but your employees can mitigate and respond to these incidents better if you provide them with the right tools and skills.
Encouraging your employees to be proactive in taking stock of their environment and reporting anything they deem unsafe or out of place can significantly reduce the chances of accidents occurring, thus, keeping their workplace safe.
Regular Safety Training
The sad truth is that most businesses don’t think to prepare for something bad until it happens, and since there are no convenient times for workplace hazards to occur, adequate preparation is necessary.
Having standardized safety training for your employees on a regular basis ensures that they are made aware of the different types of workplace hazards and what measures can be taken to avoid them. For better familiarity and understanding, this training should be hands-on, interactive, and engaging for the employees.
Run Emergency Drills
Following each safety training, you can run drills to make sure that your employees get extra familiar with the training procedures that they’ve learned. These drills can also be a way for your employees to have an idea of what a real-life emergency feels like and how they will respond to it.
Communicate About Hazards
Even with the best efforts to create a safe working environment, there is still a likelihood of accidents occurring. Should such a situation arise, it is crucial to have a way of communicating with everyone.
Some of the ways you can communicate about hazards are with posted signage and reminders. You can also invest in communication tools and apps that help broadcast safety alerts to members of your staff.
Prioritize Good Ergonomics
Musculoskeletal disorders, which can manifest as damage to nerves, bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and ligaments, can be associated with certain jobs that require heavy lifting or repetitive tasks over prolonged periods of time. Luckily good ergonomics can help prevent this issue.
Ergonomics simply involves fitting a job to an individual by making sure that their equipment does not only fit their body but the task at hand. Good ergonomics ensure that your employees can comfortably carry out their tasks with minimal risk of injury.
Investing in Mental Health Protection
In recent times, more and more employers are looking to prioritize psychological safety in the workplace, and it is something that we can expect to see more of in the coming year.
As an employer, take a more proactive step towards ensuring that your employees have a working environment that is both physically and psychologically safe.
Conduct Regular Safety Audits
Conducting regular safety audits for your entire operation (not just machinery and equipment) ensures that you identify and eliminate potential risk factors before they become serious.
As an employer, your employees are coming in to work for you, so it is your responsibility to ensure that they have a safe and healthy work environment.
Apart from being the ethically correct thing to do, providing your employees with a safe working environment will also benefit you by encouraging better productivity and business outcome.