Preventing accidents in the workplace is both the moral and ethical responsibility of every employer. Knowing that there’s a safety issue in the workplace and doing nothing about it will lay heavily on your conscience but it might also make you legally responsible for consequences. Paying employee compensation, in this particular scenario, could be a major financial problem. So, why risk this? Instead, you should do all that’s in your power to prevent such a problem from ever taking place. Here are several tips on preventing accidents in the workplace and keeping your employees as safe as possible.
Even if something is clearly and obviously dangerous, it’s never a bad idea to stick a label on it as a visual reminder. You see, we receive visual information 60,000 times faster than a verbal one. In reality, this might seem like just a part of a second but this is sometimes enough to avoid a disaster. Moreover, this will make the job of your ordinary employees (non-safety personnel) a lot easier. They don’t have to remember the entire safety statement – they just see the warning label and act with more caution. It’s really that simple.
Insist on a high level of training
The better the training your staff receives, the lower the risk of injury. It is a simple 1:1 equation that you always have to bear in mind. A crash course will get your employees to become more productive a lot sooner but it won’t necessarily make them as productive as you would want them to be. Instead, you need to ensure that your employees adopt all the most efficient, safest, practices. You also want to have their mentors/instructors oversee them to repeat as many trial runs as possible. Repetition is the mother of knowledge and once they adopt these safety practices, it will become like their second nature.
Provide suitable visibility
Lack of visibility can easily lead to accidents. Now, in areas, there are jobs that are done outdoors even during the winter, which causes a huge problem in terms of visibility. The best way to handle this problem is to invest in some temporary lighting. For those worried about finding cables long enough, buying temporary solar lighting towers is the best idea. There’s always a solution and you can’t really put a price tag on the safety of your employees. The first responsibility that you have is to provide these employees with suitable working conditions. Light is a base requirement.
Avoid overworking your employees
Overworking your employees is a practice that can seriously backfire and result in some serious injuries in the workplace. First of all, the longer they work, the lower their attention gets. The simplest way to avoid this is to give them short breaks quite frequently. In other words, you can introduce an interval working model that will benefit everyone. Second, don’t keep them overtime too often. If you need them to stay 2-3 hours longer every single day, this means that you need to start hiring some additional workforce. Seeing as how you’re legally obliged to pay extra for this overtime, it will even save you money.
Another workplace essential that you need to provide your team with is personal protective equipment. This includes work uniforms and hazard equipment made from special materials, special gloves, safety goggles, helmets, visors and more. Remember that some of these items are perishable and others get damaged in the process. This is why you need to have a healthy supply of these items at hand. This way, if something gets broken, it can be replaced right away and there’s no downtime or additional risk.
Effective reporting system
The last thing worth mentioning is an effective reporting system. Your employees are the ones in the front line and they’re the ones to notice a potential hazard before anyone else. This is why you need to be ready and willing to hear them out. A near-miss reporting system is one of the best ways to handle this issue. In order to encourage this, you need to proceed two-fold. First, you need to react and address the reported issue. This not only raises the quality of your work but also increases the likelihood that the same person will make another report. Second, you might want to incentivize employees who regularly report potential hazards.
Accident prevention is never possible with a 100% efficiency rate. There’s really nothing you can do in order to prevent every single risk but there are a lot of measures that can minimize various risks. This ranges from providing the right equipment to training your staff. The situation in tour workplace evolves, which is why you need to be ready to adapt to it. In other words, workplace safety is a continuous effort.