A work environment free from injuries and accidents attracts employees. Employees are more satisfied and productive in such an environment.
A safe work environment is important for both employees and employers alike. It is the right of all employees to have safety in the workplace.
Workplace safety is important regardless of the size of a company. All companies, big or small, need to incorporate safety in their workplaces.
Well implemented safety measures keep employees safe and also protect industry equipment. It is the responsibility and duty of employers to protect their employees and keep them safe.
What is the Need for Safety in the Workplace?
It is not possible to measure the effects of human casualties. They can have grave consequences for employees and their families and friends as well.
This is why workplace safety and health measures are necessary. They are important for the wellbeing of employers and employees alike. The feeling of assurance that one has, knowing that he will return safely from work is greater than anything else.
There are occupational safety and health risks in every company. Factors affecting workplace safety include unsafe working conditions and environmental hazards. It can also include substance abuse and workplace violence.
For example, employees working in an IT company may have to work with faulty wires or electronics. Whereas in a construction company, employees may be exposed to the dangers of operating heavy equipment.
To combat these risks, employers should create strategies that ensure and promote safety in their workplaces.
Employers should also learn the desired aspects of their employees in terms of safety and protection. This will help increase productivity and the quality of the products and services.
Here are some Benefits of a Safe and Healthy Work Environment -
It goes without saying that the safer the work environment, the more productive it is. Productive employees are an asset to all companies. For instance, productive employees can produce more output in less time, reducing operational costs for a company.
Workplace safety promotes the wellness of employees and employers alike. Better safety equates to better health. Healthier employees do tasks more efficiently and they are happier in general.
There are very few accidents in a safe working environment. This results in less downtime for safety investigations and reduces costs for worker’s compensation. This also reduces the time needed for employees to heal from injuries.
Damage to industrial equipment creates costs for replacement and repair. Avoiding workplace injuries and damage to industrial equipment will incur fewer expenses and increase profit.
If employers are concerned about the safety of their employees, the employees are more confident and comfortable in general. Also, absenteeism rates drop and employees are more focused on doing their tasks.
Ways to Create a Safe Working Environment
Being Aware and Identifying workplace Hazards
This is the first step to create a safe working environment. Employers need to identify workplace hazards and safety issues first. Then they must take measures to address them accordingly.
Workplace safety hazards can include mechanical issues, dangerous chemicals, hazardous electrical equipment, etc.
Mechanical problems can occur at any time while operating machinery in the workplace. Also, working with heavy equipment is very risky and can cause accidents.
If employees need to work with chemicals they have to be very cautious. Dangerous chemicals can burn or poison employees. Inhaling or ingesting them can even cause death.
Also, working with electronic equipment can have risks as well. Faulty electrical equipment can electrocute employees causing serious problems.
Employees should be aware of the types of equipment and know the hazards in their workplace. This enables them to stay clear of such hazards and unfortunate situations. Also, employers should train employees in the proper operation of machinery and equipment.
Implementing Workplace Safety Programs
The first step in building a safety program is to get all employees to commit to workplace safety. One way to do this is to include workplace safety in the company’s mission statement. It should be the duty of every employee to carry out the safety policies.
Employers should investigate all accidents in the workplace. They should encourage employees to follow all safety procedures.
Moreover, the hazards of not following them should be clearly stated in writing. This reduces the chances of mistakes.
Providing Proper Safety Training to Employees
Training is an important part of every company’s safety program to protect employees from accidents. Research shows that new employees have a higher risk of workplace accidents. It is the lack of knowledge of workplace hazards and proper work techniques that cause this greater risk.
Employers should provide employees with the necessary training to reduce workplace accidents. Employees should operate all equipment and machinery properly and safely.
For instance, the operation of heavy machinery should be properly taught to employees. Only trained or certified employees should operate such types of equipment. This is why it is important to provide safety training to employees by experts.
Using Protective Safety Equipment
The usage of equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause workplace injuries is very important. Not doing so can cause injury or even death.
Employees may have to work with chemicals, machines, electronics and other potential work hazards. Employers must provide such employees with personal protective equipment (P.P.E).
P.P.E should be safely designed, constructed and fit comfortably. Examples of P.P.E are gloves, protective eyewear, clothing, earplugs, hard hats, etc.
Reporting Unsafe Working Conditions
Employees must inform any kind of safety hazard or work risks to the management. Employers are legally obligated to ensure safe working environments for their employees. It is their duty to end workplace safety hazards and promote safety in the workplace.
Practicing Correct Posture
Bad posture is one of the main reasons for back pain. It is imperative to practice good and correct posture to reduce the risk of getting hurt.
For example, if you have to sit for long hours, use specially designed chairs. Also, always sit upright.
Reducing Workplace Stress
Workplace stress can cause many health problems like anxiety, depression, etc.
Job insecurity, workplace bullying, high workload, etc. cause workplace stress.
Learn how to combat workplace stress and avoid its negative effects. Workplace stress can have drastic effects on workplace productivity and employee health.
Promoting Regular Breaks
Employers should encourage employees to take regular breaks. Taking regular breaks will prevent tiredness and fatigue. This will further prevent injuries or illnesses. Breaks help employees stay fresh and focused.
Staying Sober and Alert
One of the major reasons for workplace fatalities is substance abuse. Substance abuse causes around 40% of all industrial workplace fatalities.
Individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs are less alert. Their decision-making ability, coordination, concentration, and motor control gets compromised. This creates risks for workplace injury and fatalities.
Easy Access to Exits in Case of Emergencies
If there is an emergency, it is important to have easy access to emergency exits. Easy access to emergency exits will reduce injuries and casualties.
Also, it is important to have quick ways to shut down equipment in case of emergencies.
Using Mechanical Aids
An industrial job may need employees to work with heavy equipment. There are many injury risks involved in trying to lift and move heavy objects. Employees can use a conveyor belt, forklift or wheelbarrow instead of lifting manually.
The Bottom Line
A safe work environment is a feature of good companies throughout the world. All employees want assurance of their safety and protection.
Workplace safety is a very important issue. Employers should ensure that their employees are working in a safe environment.
Management systems and business owners are responsible for promoting workplace safety. Employers should encourage employees to adopt safe practices and use safety equipment. They should promote safety policies and safety programs.
Also, employees should be aware of the risks of operating hazardous machinery.