Going to work on a cold Monday morning isn’t the only thing that can make employees blue. Your employees want a safe work environment, but it’s easy to forget that the office can be a dangerous place. From fires, slips and falls, as well as health issues from prolonged desk work, the average worker faces potential health risks that need to be reduced. Follow our top 10 ways you can have a safer workplace.
- Remove ice and snow from sidewalks and major walkways outside of the office. During winter months, accidents due to inclement weather increase. By making sure your sidewalks are free of ice and snow, you as well as your employees are less likely to slip and fall. Taking this one action can significantly reduce accidents outside your business.
- Keep work areas and aisles clear. An organized workspace makes it less likely for someone to trip over electrical cords. A clear path is also crucial in case of a fire when an orderly and immediate evacuation is necessary.
- For those who have a sedentary job, breaks to stand up and walk around inside or outside the office are recommended. More and more research shows that sitting all day is bad for your health. Take a few minutes each day to stand up, walk around, and stretch.
- Have an emergency plan in place. If a fire or accident happens tomorrow, do you have a plan in place for next steps? Is your staff trained on how to react and at which location to meet? Regularly practise fire drills and determine who on staff can assist in making sure everyone is evacuated.
- Wear any necessary protective gear. Whether employees need to wear protective glasses, shoes, or more – making sure everyone wears the appropriate protective items – can make the difference in deterring accidents at your workplace.
- Have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in key places throughout the building. In case of a fire, protect yourself and your staff with smoke detectors and have members of staff who are trained and ready to use fire extinguishers when necessary.
- Reduce workplace stress. Stress is an overwhelming catalyst for many health issues facing modern-day workers. For the safety of your employees and for the betterment of their work, it is necessary to reduce anxiety and stress levels at work.
- Have a clear rule about alcohol and drug use in the workplace. Alcohol and drug use can impair a person’s judgment. By having clear rules of conduct in regard to being sober at work, you greatly minimize the risk of accidents. This rule should be clearly stated in an employee handbook and be accompanied by any consequences associated with such behaviour.
- Have an open-door policy about any potential work hazards. As the owner of your business you can’t be everywhere, and it’s nearly impossible to be aware of every possible hazard. By having an open-door policy with your staff, you empower them to address issues they see in the workplace. This could include fire hazards, stress concerns, sexual harassment concerns, and more. Your staff may see things you simply don’t see. Give them the opportunity to advocate for the safety of their work environment. By listening to your staff you can handle these risks before matters get worse.
- Think before you lift. When lifting anything at work, lift with your legs instead of your back. Consider the weight of the item and whether you can safely handle it yourself. If a dolly or cart is available, use it to efficiently move what you need without injuring yourself in the process.
With these steps, a strong culture of safety is in the future for your workplace. Create a work environment where you and your employees can happily come into work each day focused on their job, instead of worrying that they could be injured. Investing in safety empowers your business to thrive, since your employees feel appreciated and cared for. That’s good for morale.