The safety of workers has become a major concern for employers around the globe. According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 2 million deaths occur yearly due to occupational accidents. This figure represents nearly 3% of global mortality rates. Employers should take steps to ensure their workplaces are free from hazards and unsafe conditions. This can include implementing policies and procedures, educating staff members, and taking other necessary measures. A safe work environment is a place where employees feel comfortable enough to report problems or seek assistance without fear of reprisal. Keep reading to learn more about how to create a safe workplace!
Employer Responsibility for Creating a Safe Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) frequently perform inspections to ensure that safety is being upheld in workplaces across the United States. OSHA requires employers to create and maintain a safe work environment for their employees. Employers must ensure that their workplace or job site is OSHA compliant. Employers cannot discriminate against employees who report accidents or hazards. These responsibilities can seem overwhelming, but putting safety first is in the best interest of both employers and employees.
Ways to Make a Safe Workplace
There are several steps employers can take to move toward a safe workplace. Here are a few to start with!
Eliminate and Mitigate Hazards
One of the best ways to ensure the safety of your staff is to eliminate their exposure to hazards. Employers should look for potential physical and chemical hazards and seek ways to eliminate or mitigate those hazards. Encourage employees to keep an eye out for potential hazards and report them to management. Your employees are your best source of information when it comes to workplace hazards because they are on the front lines every day and may recognize hazards that management does not.
Provide Excess Safety Training
OSHA requires employers to provide safety training to employees in a language and vocabulary that they can understand. One-time training is not enough though. On-going safety training through meetings, demonstrations, or even trivia is a great way to ensure that employees remember and implement safety standards. Try using an electronic message board to send out daily, bite-sized safety training messages!
Maintain and Replace Equipment
Worn-out or broken equipment is a serious hazard to the workplace. To create and maintain a safe workplace, be sure to keep up with routine machinery maintenance and be on the lookout for worn-out equipment that needs replacing. Replace equipment promptly so that employees can work safely and productively. Also, include a section on equipment maintenance during your safety training sessions!
Use Signs and Other Visual or Auditory Safety Aids
Signs, labels, and floor markings are great ways to remind employees of safety procedures. Use color-coded signs and labels to warn employees of potential hazards. Additionally, these signs can also be used to provide safety instructions and remind employees of safety procedures. OSHA publishes a series of safety posters that should be posted in the workplace and recreational areas, such as the breakroom. If your worksite has a broadcast system, use it to announce daily safety announcements.
Create a Safety Committee
Using a safety committee to identify hazards and update safety protocols is a great way to create a safe workplace. A safety committee should include employees who work in every department and every level of the organization. This committee will help to identify new or potential hazards in the workplace and make decisions on how to eliminate them. The committee can also distribute new safety protocols and training materials to the rest of their department.
Create a Culture of Safety
Following OSHA regulations is the minimum requirement for employers, but to create the safest working environment for employees, employers must go above and beyond their basic responsibilities! Having a culture of safety means that every single employee and every single member of the management team understands, uses, and works to improve the company’s safety protocols. A culture of safety means that safety is a regular topic of discussion and is part of every employee’s thought process when they are working. Creating a culture of safety takes time, but it will surely pay off in the end.
Creating and maintaining a safe workplace can be tricky, especially when dealing with government and industry regulations. Luckily, Work Health Solutions is here to help. Contact us today to start creating a workplace safety program uniquely designed for your business!
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