As an employer, securing a healthy and safe environment is one of your primary responsibilities. Still, besides this, it is a requirement for businesses to comply with regulations set by Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA. Being such an essential aspect, it is of the utmost importance you integrate workplace safety initiatives and actions within the company’s culture. By doing this, not only are the employers protected against possible dangers, and you reduce risks, but you also avoid financial repercussions to your business.
Whether you have a small business operating from an office or you have a research lab, health and safety measures are imperative, regardless of how high the risk of hazards is. However, the only difference would be that companies have other needs depending on the nature of their business. So, a construction company will have to provide protective equipment, whereas if you operate from an office, this isn’t a requirement.
Next, we will discuss five strategies that businesses can implement within the culture to promote workplace health and safety and assure a risk-free environment.
Frequent training programs
In any workplace, providing training frequently is an opportunity to grow, both as an enterprise and individually for every employee. It is not just recommended for businesses to encourage and make training available, but it is vital for improved overall performance. The same concept applies to workshops and programs that promote health and safety in the workplace.
When a company prioritizes training their employees in safety measures, it increases trust and loyalty as it assures them that this important aspect is taken seriously. Not only this, but it also ensures that everyone is up to date with regulations and gains information on what to do in case of an emergency. Besides, a training program is an excellent opportunity to open conversations regarding any concerns an employee, or even the employer, might have. This way, you can tackle any problems and find a solution. Training provided by a health committee or specialists in this area, together with creating a dialogue within the company, will decrease the risks of accidents and prepare everyone should an unfortunate event happen.
Encourage open communication
As mentioned above, training programs can be a suitable occasion to open a dialogue with respect to health and safety at the workplace. This could be an ice breaker and an example to follow constantly and not necessarily during workshops. By encouraging communication in this respect, you give your employees the chance to discuss any concerns they might have. Otherwise, they could feel uncertain of how to address the subject of safety or lack thereof. However, if you put the time and give them the chance to speak their mind, you can avoid any more significant issues later on.
For instance, if an employee has noticed that a piece of specific equipment is not correctly working or considers that the environment is unsafe for any reason, only by addressing this can you take the necessary measures. Specialists from Compensation Calculator UK state that “employees are entirely entitled to claim workers’ compensation if they have been involved in an accident at the workplace that resulted in them getting a personal injury. It is crucial that employers and employees discuss such matters openly, as it is in the workers’ right to claim compensation that covers any medical bills and loss of earnings.”
Offer benefits that promote health
Another effective strategy to implement that promotes workplace safety consists of encouraging employees to take part in activities that are beneficial for both physical and mental health. Employees’ well-being is essential for the efficient running of the business, and it allows them to grow professionally.
If their physical condition and state of mental health are poor, they will also be more inclined to suffer injuries. For instance, if a laboratory technician struggles personally, they could get distracted and harm themselves or others. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that employers prioritize their employees’ well-being. Besides encouraging open communication, you could offer benefits that promote health. An example would be to provide vouchers or financial benefits for gym subscriptions or yoga classes. Similarly, if an employee wishes to seek professional help from a therapist or other doctor, make it clear that this is an encouraged action. Another way of promoting well-being is by organizing activities for the entire team, like fitness challenges or a day-off to go indoor roped climbing.
Ensure regular inspections
For a business that needs to operate by using specific and professional equipment, it is imperative employees use the right tools or machinery to avoid any injuries due to faulty or poorly maintained equipment. For this reason, any company with any kind of high-risk machinery or tools has to ensure regular inspections. Apart from making sure everything is in perfect condition and working adequately, it is also necessary to provide cleaning services, if employees cannot do this themselves.
Equipment inspections are vital, but so are office ones. If you do not have to handle tools or heavy machinery, it is still a must to make sure the work environment is safe and doesn’t present any health hazards. For instance, in offices, employees could still suffer minor injuries, such as slip trips or falls, if the workplace is hectic and doesn’t adhere to safety regulations. Creating a risk-free environment is highly important, but so is maintaining it, which is why regular inspections and training are crucial.
HR managers as a liaison
Human Resource Management can effectively incorporate health and safety measures and encourage employees to develop behaviors that promote a safe workplace environment. HR specialists can act as a liaison between employees and safety committees to ensure that this is embedded within the company culture. By doing this, you make training a given and a priority, and not just a rare event. What’s more, your employees learn to also treat health and safety as a vital aspect of their job.
Managers from HR can also facilitate and schedule inspections, as well as ensure that both the business and its employees adhere to OSHA regulations consistently.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.