5 Basic Steps To a Safer Workplace
All businesses face various risks that could lead to health and safety issues. These risks and potential problem areas will vary from business to business and industry to industry, but there are steps every business owner can take to help ensure a safer workplace for workers, customers and visitors alike. Let’s take a look at some basic steps you can take to make your business a safer place to be for all concerned.
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#1 – Sanitise Workplace Kitchens and Bathrooms
It sounds like an obvious step to take, but many work environments that have kitchen facilities and restrooms for staff often get neglected when it comes to thorough cleaning. If it’s the responsibility of employees to keep these environments clean and tidy, often only a cursory clean is done and sanitisation is generally an afterthought at best. It’s vital that kitchens and bathrooms be cleaned and regularly sanitised to kill germs and bacteria, to avoid any potential outbreak of illness in the workplace.
#2 – Keep Floor Areas Free of Obstacles and Debris
One area of any workplace that can present some of the greatest hazards is the floor space. It’s the largest area of any establishment and a place where so many hazards can exist.
To begin with, if there is a lot of junk lying about, this presents a tripping hazard. Tripping over might only present a minor problem on most occasions, but can potentially lead to more serious injuries, such as a broken bone. Likewise, floors that are wet without any warning signs present a slip and fall hazard, which is potentially more dangerous than a tripping hazard.
Maintaining a floor space that’s dry and free of obstacles is paramount in maintaining a safe work environment.
#3 – Train Staff In the Use of Equipment
If your workplace includes the regular use of various equipment and machinery for production purposes, have all staff members who operate the machinery been properly trained in its safe and efficient use?
Many workplace accidents occur on or around machinery. Sometimes this is due to a lack of training. At other times it can be the result of fatigue.
Ensure all staff members are fully trained and competent, but also make a point of ensuring that machinery operators receive regular breaks from the machinery they are operating, so they can maintain the high levels of concentration required for safety.
#4 – Hold Team Meetings About Safety Issues and Concerns
One effective way to help avoid accidents and incidents occurring in the workplace is to hold regular team meetings with all members of staff. The focus of these meetings is to bring to light anything in the workplace that presents a hazard, so these areas can be adjusted and rectified before an incident has a chance to take place.
The real advantage of staff meetings like these is that you receive feedback from everybody involved in the operation of the business. Everybody works in different areas and sees different things, so this team feedback is an invaluable source of information that will not only improve safety, but likely increase the efficiency and profitability of the operation as well.
#5 – Hire a Health and Safety Expert
If your business is medium to large-sized, you might have the budget to hire a full time health and safety expert or a risk manager, to oversee the running of your business. This individual can be tasked with training staff on health and safety regulations, liaising with employees about improving areas of the operation for both compliance and safety, along with generally keeping an eye on everything on a day to day basis.
To assist your risk manager or health and safety expert, you could also purchase dedicated health and safety software to make the task of managing workplace health and safety far easier and a lot more efficient. This not only helps to guarantee a safer work environment, but also ensures you remain compliant and stay on the right side of the law. Software helps to monitor your business and even alerts you to any potential problem areas before they can present an issue.
Maintaining a safe and healthy work environment takes some effort, but with everyone working towards this goal and doing their bit, there’s no reason you can’t have a safe and secure workplace.