In 2020 alone, there were a reported 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses. Although the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates it was down from the year before, many of these accidents can be prevented. It begins with making a safe work environment.
From proper training to clear signs, there are many steps you can take to ensure you provide a safe and comfortable environment for your workers. Here are some simple and effective ways to do so.
Make It OSHA Compliant
First of all, you want to ensure the workplace is in compliance with OSHA standards and laws. Remove any hazards that you can and clearly protect your workers from others. Use signs in restricted areas to prevent customers or clients from wandering in.
If you see any hazards that you can fix, such as tripping hazards, poor lighting, mold, etc., work on correcting the issue promptly.
Train All Workers
Proper workplace safety begins with thorough training, which helps to prevent workplace accidents. You should train new workers and ensure they can understand the training. In some cases, this means offering it in another language.
It’s a good idea to offer refresher training as well. You can make it mandatory or strongly encourage it. Post reminders in hazardous areas, such as around equipment.
Review your training materials often, and consider expanding them when necessary. For instance, you could offer construction lockout tagout training online, which teaches workers about de-energizing machines and circuits.
Provide the Necessary Equipment
It’s vital that you provide all your workers with the equipment necessary to do the job in a safe and efficient manner. Examples include work gloves, safety vests, protective eyewear, hard hats, harnesses, and other equipment used for protecting employees.
Consider buying different colored safety vests or clothing for different types of workers. For instance, you might have yellow for forklift operators and red for supervisors.
If your workplace uses uniforms, make sure all employees clearly display their uniform, including a name tag, if applicable. Ensure workers wear proper footwear and follow all dress codes and safety regulations.
Clearly Mark the Exits for Employee Safety
In the event of a fire or other emergency, all your staff needs to know how to evacuate. A major part of creating a safe work environment is ensuring the exit signs are clearly illuminated and easy to see.
Stairwells and walkways should also be well-lit, especially if the power goes out.
All workers should know where to go if they need to leave the building. Clearly communicate with your workers and discuss the emergency exit plan. Put up maps and signs of where people should go if anything happens.
Provide a Safe Work Environment
Never stop observing and improving your current safety measures. Use these tips to provide the groundwork for a safe work environment. Remember to have regular inspections performed to spot issues you may not have noticed to keep your workers protected.
Are you looking for more advice on running a business? Read through some of the content in our business section to find additional tips like these.