[This article was written by Lizzie Weakley.]
No employee wants to work in an unsafe environment. Having one can be incredibly detrimental to employers because of workplace accidents, high turnover and decreased productivity. Creating a safe and productive workplace should be at the top of every employer’s priorities.
Be Serious About Safety
The first step employers need to make is to take safety seriously. This includes abiding by all state and federal workplace safety laws but also taking it a step further where warranted. Have safety protocols in place, be serious about employees following them and make sure new employees learn correct safety procedures from the beginning. Also have a written policy for what should happen when an employee is injured and adhere to it if anything unfortunate occurs. Your employees are counting on you to keep them safe and you need to hold up your end of the bargain.
Use Safe Equipment
A company can only be as safe as the equipment it is using, particularly in more physical industries such as construction or manufacturing. Unsafe electrical equipment in particular is a serious hazard so employers should make sure they are using equipment with important safety features such as automatic shutoffs or industry leading hermetically sealed feedthroughs. Equipment should also be regularly serviced and inspected to ensure it is safe to use.
Take Security Measures
Additional measures can improve the security of a workplace even more. Installing security cameras or hiring security guards, for example, can make employees feel much safer. This is especially true if employees regularly handle large sums of money or other valuables. Keeping doors locked and designating who is responsible for ensuring they are locked helps too, as does requiring keycards or key codes for entrance.
Give Employees Breaks
Employees having the opportunity, or even the requirement, to take breaks can lead to a safer and more productive workplace. Employees who have been working non-stop will get tired and weaker, leading to a greater chance of a serious workplace accident. Even for office workers, who have a relatively low risk of workplace injury, fatigue from working on the same thing for hours on end leads to decreased productivity. Breaks give employees a chance to refresh themselves.
When employees feel safe, they tend to be more productive in their work. Workplace safety, productivity and employee satisfaction are all aspects that are closely intertwined in a business. Employers play a large part in this by promoting a culture of workplace safety and taking measures to safeguard their employees.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.