Anyone who runs a company understands how essential workspace safety is. After all, we don’t want anyone to get hurt on the job, do we?
Keeping workers safe is vital to creating a healthy workspace environment that employees will enjoy working in.
It also makes sense to guarantee that your safe workspace is up to par with regard to official standards and regulations.
One of the main organisations that create such regulations is the Workplace Health and Safety, usually referred to as Occupational Health and Safety. Their main duty is an assessment of risks that can impact the health, welfare or safety of those in your workspace.
Every company owner needs to comply with all legal requirements to guarantee that a workspace is safe for every employee – actually not only employees, but also visitors, customers, contractors, suppliers and volunteers.
Apart from complying with all the legal requirements, workspace safety is critical for the long-term success of any company.
A safe workspace or office helps:
- retain personnel
- optimize productivity
- minimize workers illnesses or injuries
- minimize absenteeism and sick leaves
- reduce the costs of injury and employees’ compensation
- comply with employee obligations and legal responsibilities
There is so much you can do to ensure that all your workers go home feeling as good as when they started the day.
Here are some tips on workspace safety you may also want to share with your managers and employees.
- Keep the space clean, clutter-free and organised
Tripping and slipping are often caused by scattered objects and items or even spills on the ground. Ensure that your workspace is always fresh and clean. Keep the space clean and organised to make sure that nothing is actually in the way that can hurt employees who are working.
- Use mats on areas with slippery floors
Wet area rubber mats are the perfect passive move towards workers safety. They are industrial grade and can absorb up to 80% of water. Place them strategically around the office or workplace and they will save your staff from falls and nasty slips.
- Store combustible and inflammable materials properly
When not stored appropriately, these flammable materials are serious fire hazards. They have the potential to put everyone’s safety at risk. Ensure these materials are always stored in spaces with proper ventilation.
- Provide proper training when handling machinery
Any worker tasked to handle the equipment, tools or machines must go through the right training first. Anyone who hasn’t been trained must never be assigned to manage heavy machinery and needs to stay away from it.
- Provide the right clothes for tasks
Workers who will be utilizing power utensils must wear the adequate work wear when operating this sort of machinery. Make sure they wear proper shoes and protective equipment for these tasks. Use only gloves that fit properly and are appropriate for the task.
- Clearly label and mark designated hazardous zones
Areas where unsafe equipment is stored, needs to be clearly labelled and marked and the walkways must be highlighted with all the necessary signage.
- First aid training
Providing your personnel with first aid stations really helps with safety and is a practical way to face emergencies. These wall-mounted stations should be fully stocked with the typical first aid kit that has all the supplies and medicines needed to handle the most common situations in the workplace.
- Emergency procedures
Emergencies do not announce themselves. In many countries you can expect fires, floods and even earthquakes. We need to be prepared if we want to guarantee safety for our companies, staff and our visitors.
We must have certain procedures already in place, so that we are prepared when an emergency occurs:
— We must do our best to anticipate natural disasters and other emergencies. Keep an eye on social media and perhaps also on the Bureau of Meteorology.
— Keep your insurance in check.
— Identify risks to your company.
— Identify key points to your company and figure out how to protect them.
— Create your own emergency management plan
— Implement an emergency alarm system. If you are not in a position to install the system yourself while guaranteeing its efficacy, get in touch with a critical alarm management provider or expert.
— Make sure you have workers who have completed the Emergency Response and Evacuations Training
- Provide an ergonomic workspace
Consider including ergonomically designed equipment and furniture in the office. It’s best to reorganize the space and ensure that everything is within reach to avoid falls and other incidents when employees are reaching for things.
- Use mechanical machinery for transportation and lifting
There are basically 2 ways in which you can lift something: by using some kind of help or on your own. For tasks that will involve some heavy lifting, make sure you provide mechanical aids, like for instance a wheelbarrow, conveyor belt, forklift or crane. If you don’t, you are risking your workers’ health and you will most probably see a rise in the number of accidents and injuries.
- Explain to new employees the risks of the workspace
The one thing you must do is firstly to understand the risks of your workspace yourself. That is why you need to carry out a full workplace risk assessment. Once you have completed this and have all the information at hand, you need to convey it to your new worker.
- Avoid assigning repetitive tasks over and over
Repetitive tasks are far more dangerous than one may think. Even if this task is as seemingly simple as typing. These repetitive tasks can be taxing for your personnel in 2 ways. They can be strenuous on their mind and on their body.
- Service your machinery regularly
Servicing your machinery and tools is not something that should be done only when they need repair or when they break down. You must do your best to avoid and prevent the malfunctions from occurring in the first place, since this can stop your company’s process and cost you a lot of money. And, of course, even more importantly, a person can get hurt in the process!
- Reduce office stress
The most usual causes of work burn-out and stress are long hours, job insecurity, heavy workloads and conflicts. These may even lead to sleeping difficulties and even depression, and eventually affect workers’ concentration.
- Regular breaks
Workers that have regular breaks usually feel more alert and fresh than those who do not. Let your personnel rest in a cool place. This will help preventing burnouts and injuries.
- Be ready for medical emergency situations
What happens when there is a true emergency? In some sectors, the workspace can be really severe. The most common workspace injuries are:
— Fractures and broken bones
— Open wounds
— Tissue disorders
Also, even if it is not so common, workers can also suffer from a heat attack or sudden cardiac arrests at any time or place, and it is our duty to be prepared for these contingencies.
Author Bio: “Iñigo is a London-based digital copywriter passionate about the new technologies and the online universe. He spends his time writing about the topics he loves, travelling as much as he can and playing sports“