7 Tips to Protect your Employees from Workplace Injuries
Your employees deserve to work in a space that is safe. You should do your utmost to ensure that they are not put into harm’s way. If the nature of the work itself is hazardous, then you must give them the tools and guidance to prevent injuries. You should also organize work processes and the physical arrangement of the facility in a way that mitigates risk.
If an employee is injured, you may be liable for it. The employee may seek a no fee no win law firm to file suit against you.
However, you need not be put in such a situation. Operating a safe workplace is not a result of genius or inspiration. It takes work. You must sit down with your line managers and think through the steps required to prevent injuries in your workplace. Here are 7 tips to help you meet this aim:
#1. Design and implement a safety plan
It all starts with planning. Most accidents and injuries that occur in workplaces are preventable. You and your team know the work that your people do. You know every step, every task, and every procedure that is required to complete a specific job. You also know the physical layout of the facility. All you need do is research the vulnerabilities in your workplace. Think about the processes, machines, and tools that may present a danger to the persons who must perform or use them.
Your people may lack the experience to think through such a plan. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers training courses and education programs that will get your people up to speed on designing and implementing a safety plan for your company. Your people can also take the OSHA training courses online through websites like 360training.com, one of the largest OSHA-authorized training providers.
#2. Provide regular training
The people who do the work are at the frontlines of safety. To make the most of this fact, you will need to hire trained and experienced workers for high-risk jobs. If you cannot find the people you need, then you may need to hire less experienced individuals. If this is the case, then you will need to ensure that they are thoroughly trained before you send them onto the floor. Untrained workers contribute significantly to workplace accidents. You can save the health and life of your employees by ensuring that each one of them knows what they are doing before they start working.
#3. Get stress under control
Work can sometimes become hectic. If you are under intense pressure to deliver, you will be tempted to put your people under the same strain. You should resist this urge. It is better to fall short of your desired goal than to risk the health or life of an employee. In any case, excessive stress negatively affects employee performance. Increasing pressure on your employees will not make them more productive; it is likely to have the opposite result.
Stress can also encourage employees to take shortcuts, which may lead to an accident and injury.
#4. Ensure your people have the right protective equipment
If your employees work with hazardous material or they work around high-power equipment, then they should use personal protective equipment (PPE). Goggles, gloves, helmets, earmuffs, masks—these are some of the many items that help protect people in the workplace. You must also ensure that your people know how to don the equipment so that it properly protects them.
#5. Keep the workspace clean
You should ensure that the workplace is cleaned regularly. This is especially important in a space in which a great deal of dust, dirt, and grime are produced. If you run a warehouse or distribution center, your housekeeping plan should include a regular walk-thru to ensure that packages or objects that may have been on shelves or in piles have not fallen unto the floor. This can cause a trip hazard, which can lead to a serious injury.
#6. Audit your safety measures
You cannot implement a safety plan and then rest on your laurels. You must constantly re-evaluate and refine your safety measures to ensure they are still effective. This process is also necessary to stay in compliance with OSHA regulations.
#7. Monitor and supervise
No safety plan can be implemented and made effective without proper supervision. You must ensure that all your line managers know and understand their role in keeping your people safe. They must actively monitor workers and the workplace in general to ensure that no one is put at risk.
Kim Hemphry is a passionate expert in the areas of Legal Matters, learning and education. She has been featured on over 50 leading Legal and education sites and is a modern thought leader in the field. More about her interests and articles on her site – http://kimhemphry.com/