Safety really is everyone’s responsibility. As a manager, it needs to be a top priority for you. If your workplace isn’t up to code and in full compliance with the latest regulations and requirements, you could face fines; more importantly, your workers could be in danger of getting hurt from laboring in an unsafe workplace. Luckily, there are simple ways to ensure all your safety Is are dotted and Ts are crossed.
Here’s a checklist to make sure you’re protecting your employees — and your company:
Tips to Make Sure Your Workplace is Safe
1. Do a Walkthrough and Look for Hazards
The details really matter here. Walk through the whole working environment and look for anything that might create a safety hazard: improperly stored wires or cords, incorrectly connected cables, oil-soaked rags or other fire dangers, wet floors (or floors that could become slick from rain or dripping faucets), areas of loose carpet, incorrectly stored sharp items, etc. Finding these items now, before they’re a risk or before someone injures themselves, prevents accidents from happening.
2. Time for a Training Refresh
Whatever your industry, your company needs to comply with guidelines and regulations established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from the top to the bottom, and each and every employee needs to know what OSHA regulations are in place. If it’s been a while since you’ve talked about safety, it’s time for a reminder. Bring your team together and talk about OSHA guidelines and make sure everyone understands their responsibilities. It’s also a requirement that OSHA guidelines be posted in a public place where they can be reviewed at any time, so make sure that’s covered, too.
3. Do an Equipment Check
Does everyone have what they need to stay safe? In addition to proper training, make sure everyone has any and all special equipment they need to protect themselves and their coworkers. Gloves, goggles, the correct shoes, any specialized tools with rubberized grips to prevent shock, containers for sharps, and anything that might be needed to eliminate hazards and safety risks. Send out an email, ask a question during your safety meeting, follow up with individuals who have riskier jobs, and do whatever is needed to make sure all risks are accounted for. In addition, make sure steps are taken to ensure protective gear and equipment are provided.
4. Set Up a Committee
The best way to guarantee people take safety seriously is to make them responsible for it. If people feel ownership, they’re more likely to really buy into the messages and responsibilities. Create a safety committee that meets regularly — monthly is ideal, every other month is fine if there’s no way to make a monthly meeting happen — to talk about safety risks, hazards, and challenges that come up. If you’re located in an environment where seasonal change brings new risks, be sure to address those hazards and challenges when the time comes. Keeping this committee on a regular schedule will keep safety responsibilities in mind.
5. Try to Make it Fun
People like free stuff. People like games. If you make safety training a game and give people incentives to stay on their toes to know their requirements and guidelines, you might be surprised to see how invested people get in making your working environment a safer space. There are always improvements to be made, but if you make it fun, people will have a better time with it, AND they’ll be more likely to retain information that can be really helpful to them and their team. Give away prizes (doesn’t have to be anything big!) regularly to people who answer quizzes, identify hazards and take action to correct them, etc.
If this sounds like more of the same, keep this in mind: If an employee gets injured on the job, not only might they be out of commission but, depending on the injury, it could lead to an investigation and inspection, and if you’re found out of compliance, that could hit your bottom line. Don’t shrug off safety!
Looking for Find Top Talent to Add to Your Workplace?
If you’d like more advice on how to keep your workplace safe, or if you’re looking to add a safety professional to your team, call ABLE Associates. Our team is ready to help your team stay safe and prepared for whatever comes next!