As a business owner, you have a responsibility to keep your employees as safe as possible at all times. While unexpected, injury-causing accidents can occur in any type of work environment, certain industries are more dangerous than others. Here are some tips for ensuring that your employees feel safe while on the job and how you can reassure new job applicants:
Talk About Safety
One of the most effective things you can do is talk about workplace safety and do it often. Although safety training is required for all new employees, don’t assume that everyone remembers what they learned in training. Keep an open dialogue about workplace safety. Encourage feedback and ask (frequently) what works and what doesn’t work.
Conduct Safety Meetings
Whether you update a safety procedure or simply want to make sure that all of your employees are on the same page when it comes to safety, it’s a good idea to conduct mandatory safety meetings at least a few times a year. Have all employees attend, even the ones who may not work directly with dangerous equipment or perform high risk work; these employees can be helpful if a workplace accident occurs.
Keep Safety Equipment Available and in Good Condition
While employers are responsible for providing proper safety gear, from hard hats to first-aid kits, many may not keep it readily available or check to make sure it’s in good working condition, particularly if it’s not needed on a regular basis. Regardless of how often such equipment is needed, it’s crucial to make sure it’s stored in a place where all employees can gain access and that it’s up-to-date.
Post Warning Signs Where Needed
Whether you have forklifts in a warehouse or have caustic chemicals onsite, posters that warn all employees of potential hazards must be visibly posted throughout the workplace. As with other safety procedures, posters are often updated; don’t forget to post any new information that comes your way.
When hiring new employees, safety training is a must. When considering the training process, make sure that the language is clear and easy to understand by all employees. Whether you train employees how to safely use power tools or how to administer first-aid, employees should leave the training session without any questions.
Find Leaders in the Workplace
While workplace safety should be an individual responsibility and a group effort, select team leaders who can reinforce safety procedures and pay close attention to other employees. This person shouldn’t be a “tattle teller”, but he or she can offer feedback or alert you to things when they need changing.
Be a Role Model for Safety
If you want to convey the importance of safety to your employees, whether new hires or people who have been with the company for over a decade, follow all safety procedures yourself. For example, if you are a contractor and work onsite with your employees, wear the appropriate safety gear, just like your employees.
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