Workplace safety has become key for many employers, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But even before the pandemic, workplace injuries were far too common, with more than half of blue-collar households reporting back in 2002 that a family member had been injured on the job. Here’s what you can do to help keep your employers safe.
How to Keep Employees Safe
Workplace safety starts with a detailed walkthrough of your facility. Make note of any potential hazards, along with ideas to mitigate them. Depending on your worksite, potential hazards could include anything from toxic chemicals to heavy machinery to ergonomic problems with workstations.
Make a Plan
With your notes in hand, develop a comprehensive safety plan. This should be a written document that includes detailed policies and procedures for employees to follow. Examples include wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with chemicals or always mopping up spills as soon as they occur.
You can’t expect your workers to follow the safety guidelines if they don’t know what they are. Provide all employees with a copy of your safety plan, as well as regular annual safety training workshops. When someone new comes on board, make safety training a standard part of orientation.
Designate a Health and Safety Rep
This person could be a front-line worker or a member of management. Either way, it should be someone who is trusted and respected by both management and staff. He or she will act as a go-between, noting employee concerns and passing them along, and then following up to see if action was taken.
Build Trust and Foster Engagement
Your employees are your eyes and ears on the ground, so you’ll need to rely on them to report unsafe conditions. But this will only happen if they feel comfortable that their concerns will be taken seriously and that no retaliation will occur. Get employee buy-in by encouraging them to contribute their safety-related ideas, and develop a close-knit working community that makes workers feel valued.
Give Public Recognition
Consider implementing a program that rewards safety-conscious behavior. This could be a formal Safe Employee of the Month program or simply a policy of calling out safe behavior when you see it. Either way, public recognition can be a powerful motivator.
You won’t know if your safety program is working unless you track it. Turn your goals into measurable objectives and track them over time. Be ready to tweak anything that isn’t working as expected.
Get Professional Training
If you’re not already a safety expert, developing a plan and training your employees may seem overwhelming. At Pirate Staffing, we offer a complete, state-of-the-art safety program for all our employers. We can also work with you to build a customized safety training program for your facility.