When managing employees, it’s your legal and moral responsibility to provide them with a safe work environment. Let’s break down 11 key workplace safety tips that will help you keep your employees safe and your business running smoothly at all times.
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Every year, thousands of employees experience workplace accidents which can have devastating consequences for both teams and businesses. Think of physical and emotional harm, lost work days, deflated morale, decreased productivity, medical expenses, and legal fees.
Maintaining a safe work environment and providing your staff with the right tools, knowledge, and conditions to work safely should therefore always be your top priority.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might sound. To get you started, we’ve lined up 11 key workplace safety tips that will help you create a safer work environment and minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
Let’s jump right in.
11 Critical Workplace Safety Tips for Every Industry
Align staff on workplace safety
First and foremost, ensure your entire workforce knows how to work safely.
This involves ensuring your staff understands and has easy access to your company’s safety procedures and protocols, along with providing regular training on safety measures and proper work methods. Both aspects help establish a company-wide safety culture that lowers the likelihood of accidents and boosts performance.
Depending on your industry, touchpoints can include:
- Lifting techniques and the use of mechanical aids to prevent strains and sprains
- The proper use of hazardous chemicals, including their storage and disposal
- Staying aware of your surroundings
- Safe winter driving practices for employees who operate work vehicles
To easily implement an effective knowledge sharing protocol, you might want to consider one of these best knowledge management systems.
Make safety gear a must
The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to keeping your staff safe from potential hazards and maintaining a safe work environment. And as an employer, it’s up to you to ensure each employee has and uses the appropriate protective gear correctly and consistently. This can be hard hats, safety glasses, earplugs, or gloves.
Be sure not to underestimate potentially hazardous situations. While it might seem that wearing safety gear is only necessary when working on hazardous projects, even small accidents can cause serious injury.
Conduct safety audits
Perform routine safety assessments to spot potential hazards. Use dedicated compliance management software to assess your company’s compliance with safety regulations, and identify ways to improve workplace safety. Your audits should include inspecting all heavy machinery and equipment’s correct maintenance, functioning, and use.
By following this work safety tip, you can prevent accidents or injuries before they occur, create a safer workplace, and foster a safety-conscious company culture. Be sure to use checklists to ensure everything is covered.
Provide regular breaks
Many workplace accidents happen as a result of an employee being exhausted or overworked. It’s, therefore, essential to provide your team with sufficient breaks to give them time to recharge and refocus.
In addition, encouraging employees to take lunch breaks away from their work areas can further help improve their general well-being, reduce stress levels, and make them feel valued. These are workplace safety tips every employee should be aware of.
Establish a reporting system
Having a system for reporting and investigating workplace incidents and hazards helps you continuously improve safety practices and create a better work environment.
Your reporting system should be easy-to-use and accessible to all employees so they can instantly report unsafe conditions – from slippery surfaces to broken tools and machines.
As per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is your legal obligation to create a safe working environment with safe working conditions, be sure to take immediate action to correct the situation.
Connecteam is an example of an employee app that allows your staff to report unsafe conditions in real-time, enabling you to instantly take action and update all employees on the issue and how to avoid injury.
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Set and follow emergency protocols
As emergencies can happen anytime, having a well-defined plan allows you to respond quickly and effectively. And so it’s up to you to identify anything your employees can be exposed to and create a clear emergency response process.
Be sure to cover a range of scenarios, including natural disasters, medical emergencies, and fires. Create clear evacuation guidelines, designated meeting places, and a method for accounting for all staff after the emergency.
Keep everyone prepared by conducting regular emergency drills and periodically reviewing and updating your emergency protocols.
Implement fire prevention measures
Reduce fire risk by creating fire prevention measures and conducting periodic fire safety inspections in the workplace.
Measures should include installing fire alarms, making fire extinguishers readily available, and clearly marking emergency exits. Also, implement an electrical safety program to prevent fires caused by electrical malfunctions, as well as shocks and electrocution.
As mentioned above, use a good employee training software to egularly train employees on how to respond in an emergency.
Safely handle hazardous materials
Dangerous materials pose a major risk when not stored, handled, or disposed of properly. And this workplace safety tip isn’t a surprise with “exposure to harmful substances or environments” causing the most work-related injuries involving days away from work in 2020.
Hazardous substances must be labeled with relevant warning signs and stored in secure, designated areas to reduce the risk of exposure and accidents. On top of that, ensure staff required to work with such materials is well trained on how to do so safely. Have emergency response plans in place in case of accidental spills or releases.
Take fall protection measures
With falls, slips, and trips being another leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities, assess fall hazards in your workplace and implement appropriate prevention measures. These can include installing guardrails and safety net systems as well as fixing tripping hazards and improving floor traction.
As part of this safety tip, ensure your workers are well aware of the hazards associated with working at heights and know how to use protective equipment. Regularly inspect fall protection systems and equipment to ensure they are working properly.
Ensure proper ventilation
When working with chemicals and other hazardous materials, it’s crucial to keep indoor air quality levels safe. Do this by assessing exposure to toxic fumes and installing necessary ventilation and exhaust systems. Inspect and maintain these systems routinely to keep them in good working condition.
In addition to this safety tip, be sure to provide your workers with appropriate personal protective equipment, such as face masks, and educate them on poisoning symptoms.
Keep emergency exits accessible
And the last but definitely not least important workplace safety tip: having clear and accessible emergency exits is crucial to evacuating the workplace quickly and safely.
Evaluate emergency exit routes and ensure they are clearly marked, unobstructed, and well-lit. Nothing should ever be placed in front of the exits that could block or prevent them from opening. Also, get everyone familiar with their location, how to use them, and the emergency evacuation procedures.
The Bottom Line on Workplace Safety Tips
All in all, implementing these simple yet effective safety tips for work environments allows you to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries and ensure everyone has the right tools, knowledge, and conditions to work safely.
On top of it being your legal and moral responsibility as an employer, making workplace safety a priority further allows you to create a company-wide safety culture, reduce absenteeism, and boost productivity, ultimately improving your bottom line.
Workplace Safety Management Made Easy
Keep employees informed, trained, and ready to maintain a safe working environment with Connecteam’s employee management app.