Employers have the ultimate responsibility when it comes to ensuring employees are safe and protected in the work environment.
When there are potential hazards in any workplace, it’s not only detrimental to employees. It can also impact revenue because of productivity issues, and employers may be leaving themselves open to litigation resulting from hazards they could have reasonably prevented.
With so many other things to focus on, the question becomes, how do employers make sure they’re providing a safe, healthy work environment while also staying on budget and having time to focus their attention on other areas?
Below are simple, inexpensive and realistic ways that you can create a safer work environment with minimal investment of both time and money:
Know What Your Responsibilities Are
It would be virtually impossible to create an adequately safe work environment without knowing what your role and responsibilities are.
Many employers, particularly small business owners, don’t understand the scope of their role as a provider of a safe environment. Research not just federal regulations regarding occupational safety, but also state laws and compliance guidelines that pertain to you.
Just by educating yourself you’re making a move toward increased safety and a lower risk of accidents that can lead to costly and damaging lawsuits.
Partner With Experts
As a business owner, you’re not likely also an occupational safety expert, but there are professionals and organizations that are. Turn to them to help you identify potential weaknesses in your safety plans and protocols.
For example, partnering with a professional waste management company can provide you with not only the resources to dispose of things that could pose a safety hazard, but some of these companies also provide OSHA and other training designed to promote worker safety.
Make Training Accessible On-Demand
One of the primary problems with occupational safety training, including OSHA-mandated employee education, is that employees tend to forget information pretty quickly.
When you provide on-demand training tools that can be accessed on-the-go from smartphones or tablets, employees can quickly refer to information that could help them identify a potential hazard or prevent an accident from occurring.
As an employer, as much as you might like to, it’s impossible for you to be every place at every time. That’s why it’s important to identify employees who can serve as health and safety leaders. They can provide you with eyes and ears you need to ensure there are no hazards present, and also that employees are compliant at all times.
Once you identify these potential safety leaders, you can provide them with more in-depth training on not just surface issues related to occupational safety, but also comprehensive training on how to prevent and handle situations that may occur.
Improving Safety Leads to Increased Revenue
Health and safety aren’t issues that should or can be pushed aside. They may not seem like high priorities as an employer, but even a simple slip-and-fall accident or a mishandling of dangerous waste materials could mean fines and lawsuits. Taking simple steps to reduce accidents and improve safety helps you avoid litigation, and also creates a more confident, well-prepared workforce, increasing productivity levels and your competitive edge.