When you’re running a business and creating a workplace designed to house you and all of your employees, you want to make sure that it’s a real asset. Aside from helping you do your work as productively as possible, you can take steps to ensure that it aligns with your values, such as helping make your company more eco-friendly, and can help you manage your responsibilities, such as the safety of your employees. Here, we’re going to look at how a few changes to your workplace can make a big difference in employee safety.
Maintain your stock of PPE
For any kind of manual labour, you have to consider the bodily risk to the individual, and what you can do to prevent or mitigate it. In most instances, the best approach to do this is to combine the training that your team needs to be aware of the risks combined with the right personal protective equipment. From goggles to gloves, hats to aprons, and otherwise, you should make sure that you have the necessary stock of PPE, that it always has gear available for those who need it, and take the time to inspect it regularly so that you can remove any fault or damaged pieces of PPE so that they don’t become a risk.
Consider your fire safety plan
There are many potential sources of fire incidents in the modern workplace. It’s worth taking the time to carry out a fire safety audit to see if there are any that you can fix by addressing risks. However, beyond that, you also have to consider what your team should do in the event of a fire. When possible, managing a fire and keeping it from becoming a major disaster is the best possible outcome. To that end, you should look at the kind of fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets, that your business could use. Find an accessible place to store them and make sure that your team is given adequate training to be able to rely on them when necessary.
Ensure you have working emergency escapes
Staying with the topic of fire safety, you need to be aware of whether or not your workplace legally requires you to have an emergency exit. These are useful not just in the case of fire, but other kinds of danger in the workplace, as well. To that end, you should ensure that you have a working fire door, and be sure to check that it’s working as well, knowing when to maintain it with replacements such as new fire door hinges. Beyond that, you may also need to consider signage that can point your team towards the emergency exits quickly, if the layout of your workplace is big enough to justify them.
Know when you need barriers
Depending on the type of workplace you run, or where it is situated, then you might have to consider when it might be wise to erect barriers that can keep your employees from accidentally crossing into hazardous zones that they shouldn’t be. For instance, in manufacturing and industrial work zones, putting safety rails around dangerous machinery may help to prevent accidents there. Similarly, if you have any employees working at heights, or have high spaces that they can access, you should consider putting guard railings there to prevent them from falling for heights, which can be one of the most injurious hazards in any workplace.
Have your first-aid station at the ready
All of the tips above look at how to prevent injuries as best as possible, and to get people out of danger or prevent that danger from affecting them. However, there will come times when prevention isn’t completely successful and someone might end up injured. Having a plan for how to deal with injuries, both minor and major, is vital. While it might include getting the emergency services involved, having a fully stocked first-aid kit in the workplace, and those are trained to use them to provide immediate and emergency care, can play a significant role in keeping someone in a better condition until help can arrive. Of course, it’s also useful for more minor issues, like cuts, treating them to prevent infection.
Keep areas well-lit
If there are any areas where you can expect a lot of foot traffic, maintaining visibility is crucial. Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common injuries in any workplace, and they often happen because people aren’t able to see where they are going for one reason or another. Making sure that you have the appropriate lighting for any walkways can help your employees walk with a little more confidence, and can help them better identify if there are any changes in floor height, obstacles, spills, or anything else that might get in their way. If you find yourself thinking that any area looks a little dark, it’s usually best to take that as a sign that you should install a new light fixture.
Consider floor signage as well
With the right visibility, your team can pay attention and avoid a wide range of risks themselves. However, sometimes, they might require some prior warning. For instance, if there’s a sharp drop coming or a slope that they might not see, for one reason or another, then you can use floor markings to let them know. Similarly, safety floor markings can be used to designate areas where vehicles might frequently pass, such as the kind of machinery used for lifting and retrieving items in a warehouse. They can also act as a warning around things such as manufacturing machinery, and setting boundaries on where employees should be standing while a machine is at work.
The next time that you’re looking over the workplace, make sure that you consider how its design and the installations that you have, or lack, can influence how safe it is for employees. It’s not difficult to find room for improvement in a lot of work environments.