Workplace safety is something that should never be taken for granted. Every employee has the right to work in an environment where their safety can be assured, and that their wellness is one of the most important considerations. This approach is not only the ethical thing to do, but it also makes business sense – the cost to your company of a lawsuit should an accident or injury occur, reputational damage, or the effects of accommodating long term illness or stress caused by poor health can be considerable. It makes sense to look after employee health on every level. But there are so many tasks to attend to – from more run of the mill things like assessing an office for trip hazards to industry specific equipment such as an air tester or assessing the safety of manufacturing equipment. Regardless of the specific task, the principle remains the same – employee safety must be at the heart of what you do.
Carry Out Risk Assessments
The place to begin is by being very aware of the specific risks that face your employees in their roles and environments by carrying out a detailed risk assessment process. This quantifies the potential issues, looks at who might be most at risk and helps you to create strategies to neutralize or take down the risk faced. The expectation is not to try and reduce life to a bubble, but to create an awareness of what could potentially go wrong and operate things at the least possible risk. This type of systematic thinking is important, because it’s the risks that you don’t perceive that are often the greatest threat.
Aim To Reduce Workplace Stress
Stress is the most invisible and insidious of a factors – not only can it cause illness and absence in and of itself, but it also acts as the trigger for a whole host of other health conditions, from alopecia to heart disease. So keeping a focus on reducing the stress to your employees makes a lot of sense. Keeping an eye on issues such as work life balance, working hours, work from home boundaries, conflicts among workers and similar issues is important, along with providing tips and tools to help your staff process day to day stress. Encourage them to value their time off, take care of their health, practice mindfulness, get enough exercise and eat well where possible. These foundational habits can transform their lives and health. It is also useful to look at the availability of healthy food in or around the place of work, taking regular screen breaks and posture and seating in the working environment.
Know How To Respond In An Emergency
Of course we all hope that the worst won’t happen, but if it does, your response should already be mapped out. Taking shortcuts is usually at the root of a lot of accidents, so things like providing your business with everything it needs, ensuring that the proper tools are all in place to enable safe working, and the proper protective equipment is in place are major factors to keep everyone safe.