As a business owner, you’re responsible for providing a safe workplace for your employees. It’s kind of part of the job. Sure, you have workers’ compensation insurance, but isn’t it better not to have to use it? By committing to safety at your business, you lower the chance of someone getting hurt, which means fewer workers’ comp claims – and saving money on workers’ comp insurance.
But this all begs the question:
How can you improve workplace safety?
Well, we’ve come up with a handy list of ten ways to improve workplace safety.
1. Hire the right people.
It’s important that you’re diligent and thorough in your hiring process. Make sure that the people who are going to work with you have the necessary skill set and experience to stay safe on the job. Consider the job you’re hiring for and the tasks it requires of the employee. Make sure that your job description clearly reflects the job that you’re hiring for.
2. Train your employees.
Your people can’t do their job safely if no one shows them how. Make sure to spend ample time on training and emphasizing safety. Encourage questions. Explain clearly. Show everyone proper protocol and safety practices – for example, how to use a ladder properly. You can’t throw someone into a pool and expect them to do the butterfly, right? It’s also important that you have continuing education and training – even your experienced employees need a refresher.
3. Identify workplace hazards.
Take a good, hard look at your workplace and take note of anything that could be done more safely and any risks that your employees face. You can’t protect your people if you don’t know what the danger is.
You’re not in this alone. Ask your employees for their suggestions or concerns. They’re the ones on the front lines – take the time to have a chat with them.
4. Make a safety plan.
Once you’ve talked to your employees and taken a walk around your workplace to look for hazards, create a plan for eliminating or reducing the hazards you find.
Take steps to make your workplace is as safe as possible, and communicate your plan to your employees. Take the suggestions and concerns your employees have into consideration and make sure they feel like they’re being heard.
Hey, that actually leads us to our next point…
5. Talk about safety.
Make it a habit to talk about safety at your workplace. Even outside of training, your employees should feel comfortable voicing their thoughts about safety and looking out for each other. Communication is key, and discussing how to make your workplace safer should be an ongoing thing.
6. Provide the proper tools and equipment.
If your employees don’t have the tools they need, it’s awfully difficult to do their jobs safely. Make sure that your team has the right tools and equipment to further your safety goals. That could be something as simple as providing a cart or dolly to transport boxes so employees don’t strain themselves lifting heavy loads. This also means providing any personal protective equipment (PPE) that’s necessary for the job. PPE should be kept in good condition and should be readily accessible to all employees.
Make sure to emphasize to your employees that you would rather them take their time, use the right tool, and do the job right than rush through the task without taking precautions. Haste makes waste. In this case, your employees could be seriously hurt if they don’t use the right tools.
7. Show that safety is Priority A.
Create a workplace culture that puts safety at the forefront. Acknowledge those workers who show that they put thought and effort towards safety, not those who put efficiency over doing the job safely. Also, be careful of incentivizing zero injuries – that could lead to a culture where workers don’t report injuries at all.
And that would make it difficult for you to carry out our next tip…
8. Investigate any accidents or near-misses.
If there is ever an accident (or a near-miss) you’ve got to get out your magnifying glass and do some detective work. Launch an investigation and unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes. Talk to witnesses and try to get to the bottom of what happened and why. That way you can do everything in your power to stop it from happening again. Conduct your investigation promptly – your witnesses will have a better recollection of how things unfolded.
But don’t stop there – carry on with improving safety by using our next tip…
9. Be an expert record-keeper.
It’s important to log and record any safety-related happening, whether it’s an accident, first-aid treatment, near-miss, training session, investigation, or inspection. Keeping these records will help you keep track of everything – our memories, sadly , are not perfect. Being organized with your paperwork can also help you notice areas for improvement for safety.
10. Remember that safety and productivity aren’t mutually exclusive.
Just because you commit to a safe healthy workplace, doesn’t mean your productivity will nosedive. Safety is in everyone’s best interest and it’s totally worth it to spend a little extra time to ensure that everyone’s staying safe.
So, those are our ten ways to improve safety in the workplace. Preventing workplace injuries can help you lower your workers’ comp costs, but it’s also about looking out for your people. Your team is a vital part of your business, and they deserve a safe workplace. So. Go forth and make your workplace safer.
And if you want to save money on business insurance, we would be happy to help. Our team can help you shop for the best coverage at the best possible rate. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call. We’re here to help with any of your insurance needs.