WHAT’S AT STAKE
Huge goals are set by companies regarding workplace safety. The thought of making it a whole year without injury automatically shuts down many individuals from even wanting to put a care towards attempting to achieve it. To reduce the enormity of the goal, concrete actions need to be lined out every day to focus on preventing injuries.
WHAT’ S THE DANGER
SAFETY US PRODUCTIVITY
In the manufacturing industry, one hears about operating with a safety-first mentality, but are employers really doing everything they can to put meaning behind that principle?
The results of a recent survey from manufacturing media resource Automation World point to no. Respondents admitted two reasons why safety guidelines are not always followed: they don’t want to disrupt production and the procedures are inconvenient.
Getting the job done often clouds the decision-making process and to a great extent, production is more important than safety.
Instead of prioritizing productivity over safety, the two should be viewed as goals that can be achieved simultaneously.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
MERGE SAFETY WITH PRODUCTIVITY
Improving workplace safety doesn’t have to be costly nor does it mean sacrificing productivity. Instead, safety and productivity can be achieved together.
12 Ways to Improve Safety in the Workplace
Employers ultimately pay for all these injuries with lost profit and productivity. Without appropriate safety plans in place, businesses can end up with significant costs that can impact employee health, productivity, and revenue. The following 12 ways can improve safety.
- CREATE A WORKPLACE CULTURE OF SAFETY
Creating a culture of workplace safety will demonstrate how seriously your organization regards safety at work. Comprehensive, thorough training is required to prevent injuries in the workplace. Make sure that all employees complete required safety programs for their positions.
- ALLOW EASY ACCESS TO SAFETY INFORMATION
Set up a separate intranet portal on your company’s website where all your safety information is available for employees. This is where they will find information such as protocol manuals, safety training tools and videos or investigation results and progress reports. Making this kind of information and media available to employees keeps them invested in your safety culture.
- REWARD SAFE BEHAVIOR
Rewards are a great way to encourage employees to follow safety guidelines. Rewards keep your staff interested in the safety culture, which has a positive effect on lowering work-related injuries.
- BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU REWARD
This is the flip side to the last tip. When you’re rewarding workers for every single thing they do to complete a job by or before a schedule, you’re unknowingly promoting a mentality that possibly compromises safety guidelines to increase the rate of production.
- WORK WITH OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS AND CLINICIANS
These specialists will give you incredibly thorough observations of work-related injury prevention. Occupational clinicians will help your company avoid workplace injuries by visiting your facilities and completing a comprehensive assessment to identify spots where there may be a higher risk for employee accidents. Occupational and physical therapists will be able to help elevate office and work area ergonomics.
- USE SIGNS AND LABELS
Signs and labels are an inexpensive and useful tool for a quick, concise way to convey vital information. Usually simple, with pictures and diagrams, signs and labels can inform procedures and warn of hazards.
- KEEP IT CLEAN
A cluttered, dirty workplace may lead to avoidable accidents. Be sure that boxes are safely stacked away from walkways. If there are spills, ensure that they are promptly cleaned. Regularly inspect areas for potentially dangerous items such as tangled electronic cords and other cables, disorganized implements and tools and messy, wet floors.
- USE THE RIGHT TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
Be sure that all employees have the correct tools they need to do their work. Also, ensure that all the proper tools receive scheduled equipment evaluations and are inspected, serviced and cleaned on a regular basis. Malfunction of equipment is one of the most hazardous workplace issues.
- PROMOTE STRETCHING BREAKS
These kinds of breaks help by improving work-related ergonomics and the health of your employees. Spending as little as five minutes to stretch your body can loosen your joints, get the blood flowing and reduce the risk of repetitive motion injuries.
- USE SAFETY GUIDELINES FROM THE BEGINNING
“Safety first” in the workplace begins on the first day someone starts his or her job with your company. Hire qualified, conscientious employees, including managers who will follow safety protocols. Bring people on board who are competent enough to do their jobs according to the established guidelines.
- KEEP CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION OPEN
Your employees should be able to comfortably address safety and health concerns you might have missed. This means they should feel like there’s a way for them to resolve issues with you without any hindrance by email, a suggestions box or dropping by your office if possible. Some employees may even suggest safety improvement ideas or creative workplace safety tips that are new and interesting.
- HOLD REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETINGS ON SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE
Regularly scheduled meetings to talk about injury prevention, go over safety protocols and address other related issues will keep a safety culture on everyone’s minds. If something happens, then everyone will remember and execute the correct procedures immediately.
Goals for safety in a workplace should be embraced by employees. It is ultimately about making sure everyone goes home in the same health they arrived in or better when they return home.