No matter how big or small an organization is workplace health and safety is not only a legal obligation but an important moral one to keep employees safe. Although workplace safety is an employer’s obligation it is everyone in the organization’s responsibility.
We have put together a list of the TOP TEN important tips that can help you as the employer create a safe work environment and help employees communicate with you regularly to create a safe workplace culture.
1. Understand the risks
All work environments are not created equal. This will not only vary from company to company, from industry to industry and from job site to job site. It is vital that every employee understand all the risks that come with a particular job so they can take the steps necessary to avoid injury. Especially in cases where an employee is working with hazardous equipment or in a dangerous environment.
2. Be aware of your surroundings at all time
This builds on item number one of understanding risks – but requires employees to continuously be aware of what is happening around them and to look for hazardous situations continuously.
3. Know where to get First Aid
We know, without a doubt, a time will come when someone will need First Aid. Ask yourself, does everyone know how or where to seek treatment in the workplace? Its important to make sure your employees know where first aid kits are located. If your company has a designated first aid officer, ensure all employees know who that person is so if they require assistance, they know who to go to.
4. Taking regular breaks
Every 7 seconds a worker is injured on the job. That’s a lot of workplace injuries that are often the result of an employee being tired or burnt out. Regular breaks give employees a physical and mental break allowing them to stay sharp on the job.
5. Always using equipment properly
When using tools and machines in the workplace, employees should always be trained to take proper safety precautions. Never take shortcuts and only use the equipment for its intended purpose. These simple steps help reduce the risk of workplace injury greatly.
6. Be aware of signage
Signs, when used in workplaces, help remind employees of potential situations they may encounter. Signage may be located in the area of a potential hazard or may provide important information about how to handle an accident. Having these signs assists in maintaining a safe work environment.
7. Know where emergency exits are
In the event of a necessary evacuation all employees should understand how and where to exit the workplace safely.
8. Keep Emergency Exits Accessible
In the event of an emergency employees need to get to the exits quickly. That being said its imperative that exits be kept free and clear. Nothing should ever be placed in front of the exits that could block them or prevent them from opening.
9. Reporting unsafe conditions
In the event of hazards or safety risks employees should know how to report these conditions to management so that they can be quickly addressed in order to prevent injury.
10. Wear correct safety equipment
Not only is it the responsibility of every employee to wear the proper protective equipment for the job they are doing but they must also be trained how to wear it correctly in order for them to safely carry out their job.