Ways Leaders Can Keep Employees Safe at the Workplace
Injuries to workers can be disastrous for companies, especially small ventures with fewer workers available to assume new roles when one of them can no longer show up to work.
If you have workers compensation insurance, it covers medical costs and provides the injured worker with compensation for the lost income, but your company still has to absorb the expenses associated with lower productivity, training replacements, and overtime.
The most effective way to cut down the costs associated with workplace injuries is to prevent accidents and create a safe working environment for workers. You cannot avoid injuries altogether, but you can reduce the risk of your employees getting hurt. Some jobs are more dangerous than others, and it’s important to identify the occupational hazards associated with your business. Workplace injuries are costly for you and your workers, and avoiding them is vital for both parties.
Here is how you can create and maintain a safe work environment as a leader.
Provide your employees with education
Your employees make a series of wellness and health decisions that can affect their lives, work performance and safety. Please provide them with educational resources and materials from reputable sources like the World Health Organisation to help them gain knowledge and become confident in their choices.
For the workers that use dangerous or heavy machinery, provide proper training to teach them how to use each machine. Knowing how to operate it safely can make a difference in preventing workplace-related injuries.
Train all your employees about workplace safety and how to identify risks and hazards. Workplace safety training should be part of worker onboarding and provided regularly. Besides injury prevention training, it would help to offer first-aid training to teach your employees to respond effectively when accidents occur.
Communicate with your employees as often as possible
Your workers want to know that your organisation cares about them and their well-being. Show them that you understand their health-related concerns by communicating the company’s decisions to prevent them from getting sick or injured. In the present context, a vaccination campaign can show your employees that you do your best to keep them safe and protect them from catching the virus. Allow them to spend time at home if they experience side effects because of the vaccine, and encourage them to share their concerns regarding the safety measures you have in place.
Companies are more successful in improving workplace safety when the employees and leadership collaborate. The responsibility for a safe workplace shouldn’t be put only on the employer’s shoulders; the managers and workers should also be tasked with implementing, improving, and maintaining workplace safety.
The pandemic has caused workers to look more closely at the employer’s care for their wellness and safety, benefit details, healthcare costs, and coverage offerings. Your workers can hold you liable if you don’t provide them with this information. Transparency in coverage should be the first step in improving your organisation’s transparency. To show your employees that you are transparent about the benefits you provide them with, offer them access to resources like cost estimator tools.
Analyse your operations and workplace conditions
The only way to boost your workplace safety is to evaluate your organisation from top to bottom and identify the possible risks your employees are exposed to. Review your operations, equipment, and workplace activities. During your evaluation, talk to your workers to find out their safety concerns. The easiest way to improve workplace safety is to learn from the individuals exposed to the hazards. Discuss with them about their problems and ask them for suggestions. It’s essential to identify the possible workplace risks that can cause an accident because you must avoid a personal injury lawsuit at any cost. If in the past, only a small number of the employees who were injured at the workplace claimed compensation or sued their employers, nowadays anyone can work with personal injury solicitors like the ones from UKLaw to claim compensation. Your workers have access to resources that educate them and provide them with the needed tools to claim their rights, so make sure that you don’t put your company in a vulnerable position.
Provide your employees with safety gear and proper equipment
In some sectors like construction, having the proper gear and tools can prevent workplace injuries. If your organisation operates in a high-risk sector, ensure all your workers have high-quality equipment that keeps them safe on site. Keep extras of every piece of equipment in gear at hand if someone comes on-site to inspect the process or one of the employees doesn’t have access to their gear or has forgotten them at home. Having extra equipment on hand can save you significant money in a workman’s compensation. It’s best to be proactive in preventing workplace injuries than deal with them.
Reinforce safety rules
It’s easy to lax on safety rules and regulations when you haven’t dealt with injuries in the workplace in a long time. So, you may overlook that one of your employees doesn’t wear their safety gear one day. But overlooking it once can create a pattern that facilitates a common practice among workers. And from one thing to another, your employees can disregard all safety rules and expose themselves to hazards. If this happens and they get injured while working, they can file a claim against your organisation for negligence that can cost you money and affect your reputation. Not following safety rules can have many repercussions, so reinforce them with every opportunity.
Be careful when hiring
During these challenging times, you may be short-staffed and need to hire new workers as quickly as possible to maintain the company’s performance. In these conditions, it’s easy to overlook details when hiring new employees that can lead to workplace injuries. When the position requires particular physical abilities, hiring someone who doesn’t meet them can lead to injuries. It’s difficult not to have enough workers, but you should ensure that all your employees are right for the job and receive proper education and training.
The past months have been challenging for organisations operating in all sectors. Injuries, accidents, and illnesses can happen at any moment. But following the above recommendations can reduce the number of workplace health issues.