Workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses a total of $62 billion per year. Overexertion – the number one cause of serious or disabling injuries – alone accounts for 25% of the total cost, while the top 10 causes make up over $51 billion or 82.5%.
Suffice to say, getting an injured employee can cost you a lot. Then there’s the loss of productivity caused by absences. Even without the financial factor, it’s in your best interest to keep your workers safe.
Keep on reading for some office safety tips to allow you to create a safer and healthier environment.
- Identify Potential Hazards
The first step to creating a safe workplace is identifying potential hazards. This is a crucial element in job safety analysis, wherein the company creates a safety guideline for every job. This takes into account any risks in operating machinery or any step in the job.
When you and your employees are well aware of the hazards, they’ll be more cautious, reducing injuries.
- Put Up Signs and Labels
Sometimes, all it takes is putting up the appropriate signs all over the workplace. This reminds everyone of danger in the area, even those who are new and yet unaware of the potential hazards. These will also help visitors in being mindful of their safety.
What the signs and labels also do is ensure that safety stays on top of everyone’s minds. They’re a reminder of your safety guidelines, so no one can use the excuse that they “forgot”.
This also goes for temporary hazards. A simple “slippery when wet” floor sign is enough of a warning, by letting people avoid the area. It will also encourage them to be more careful in their steps.
Then there’s the added benefit of covering your bases should you get taken to court.
- Stay on Top of Health News
With the pandemic still raging on, it’s important to be aware of the latest health updates. This allows you to incorporate proper safety measures in your office.
Staying up-to-date with COVID-19 information, for example, will give an idea on how to prevent transmission in your workplace. Disinfecting the areas every day and enforcing a face mask is a good start.
- Train Your Employees
Your employees are also responsible for their safety. Whatever their role is, you must train them well in enforcing your safety protocols. This is more important when they’re handling machinery or doing a job with higher risks.
Make sure they have easy access to job safety analysis. Take the time to educate them on the risks, hazards, and such present in the workplace.
An employee with a strong understanding of business safety tips is more likely to spot potential hazards. This leads to fewer injuries in the workplace.
Remember that safety training is an ongoing process, as well.
- Reward Your Employees
Punishments may deter your employees from doing risky activities, but psychology has long established that positive reinforcement is a better technique in enforcing your rules. In line with this, you should have some sort of reward for safe behavior.
You can, for example, provide an incentive whenever they report a potential hazard. This keeps them on the lookout for dangers, keeping them safe at the same time.
However, make sure you act on these reports. It’s not enough to give the incentive as promised.
You must take action to decrease the risk or eliminate the hazard. It’s important that your employees feel valued and heard.
- Ask Your Employees
Your employees face different risks that higher management may not be aware of. That’s why it’s worth getting their input and perspective on your safety guidelines and office safety tips.
Get them involved in shaping your workplace protocols. Either hold a meeting or engage in one-on-one discussions to get valuable feedback.
You should also send out surveys. Ask questions about your current policies and procedures.
This will give you an idea of their level of understanding. Are they well-versed in your safety protocols? Or do they seem to have not taking them on board?
You can then go from there. Revisit your training procedures and make changes to make your employees more educated.
In the end, ask them for suggestions and feedback. Make sure it’s anonymous so that everyone can tell the truth without fear of repercussions. This is a good time to report about a non-compliant supervisor, for example.
- Emergency Drills
One way to make sure that your safety protocols are always in your employees’ minds is to conduct emergency drills. Knowing what to do when you’re under pressure is different from reciting a passage from the list of rules.
Using emergency exercises your employees will know off by heart where the exits are, how to use the emergency ladders, and if the walkie talkies are working as expected.
The interval between drills is up to you and the legal requirements in your location. Sometimes, you may benefit from more frequent fire drills, for instance. Businesses dealing with flammable materials and fire hazards are examples.
- Don’t Take Shortcuts
When it comes to workplace safety, never take shortcuts.
For example, don’t make an employee operate machinery without proper training. Don’t buy a short ladder when you need a tall one. Don’t dismiss a seemingly small hazard concern.
Encourage your employees to do the same. No matter how long a task takes, they shouldn’t take a risk to get it done faster.
- Reduce Workplace Stress
A safe environment is your responsibility, but did you know that workplace wellness is your responsibility, too? Tight deadlines, employee conflict, and such can cause a strain in the environment. This leads to heightened stress, which lowers employee morale and productivity.
It also makes them more susceptible to injuries. Lack of sleep, for instance, can make anyone make a costly mistake.
Create a Safer Workplace With These Office Safety Tips
Workplace safety should start at the top. If you’re serious about it, your employees will follow.
Create the best safety guidelines and protocols using our office safety tips above. If you need more, check out more of our blogs today.