As a business leader, it’s your responsibility not only to provide the highest level of service to your clients but also to cultivate a productive and supportive working environment for your employees. Making workplace safety a top priority is fundamental to creating a positive and profitable business environment.
However, maintaining rigorous safety standards is not always easy. Workplace safety requires vigilance and proactive measures. The good news is it’s possible to ensure the health and safety of your employees through strategic action and comprehensive safety policies and procedures.
Institute routine workplace inspections. Far and away, one of the best strategies for promoting workplace safety is to institute routine and rigorous safety inspections. An effective safety inspection doesn’t just happen, though. It requires planning, effort and time to ensure that all relevant issues are assessed and, if needed, remediated.
Regular inspections can help prevent complacency among leaders and staff. In addition to routine, scheduled inspections, it’s also beneficial to institute unscheduled inspections. The understanding that a safety inspection may occur not just at regularly scheduled intervals but at any time can help ensure consistent safety standards. Employees will be less likely to become lax in their safety standards.
Practice effective risk and resource management. Risk management is often a central component of business leadership, particularly in times of significant economic volatility, such as have prevailed in recent years. However, one often overlooked facet of risk management, especially as it pertains to workplace safety, is resource management.
If your teams are spread too thin, corners will almost inevitably be cut when it comes to safety. For this reason, one of the best strategies for promoting safety in your office or on the job site is to learn to allocate and manage resources judiciously.
You may be tempted to reduce staff, increase working hours or assign teams multiple projects to reduce labor costs. After all, the expense of recruiting, training and employing new staff members can be prohibitive. But the more burdened your teams are, the more mentally, physically, and emotionally fatigued they’re going to be. Combine this with the time constraints of working on multiple projects simultaneously, and you’re setting the stage for accidents and injuries linked to overwork and fatigue.
Implement robust safety policies. Another critical aspect of increasing workplace safety through proactive efforts is to ensure that your organization has robust and consistently enforced safety policies in place at all times. These workplace safety policies should address health and safety protocols that apply both to the institution as a whole as well as to concerns that are specific to departments and job roles.
It’s also imperative to routinely evaluate and update policies, ideally at least once every quarter, to ensure their relevance, timeliness and comprehensiveness.
But as important as the existence of safety policies is, they’re only going to work if you work them. This means that safety training must also be rigorous and routine. New employees must be thoroughly briefed on institutional, departmental and job-specific safety protocols, while all staff should receive regular refresher training. Quarterly retraining is ideal to ensure that current safety standards remain top-of-mind for employees.
Another important attribute of implementing and consistently enforcing safety policies is that doing so can provide legal protection in the event of workplace accidents and injuries. By codifying organizational safety standards and workers’ responsibilities, you are doing your utmost to meet the expected burden of care as an employer.
Workplace safety is a critical concern for employers and employees alike. In the age of worker shortages, tight budgets and increasing economic uncertainty, however, it can be tempting to cut corners when it comes to safety. To ensure the health and well-being of your staff and to protect your organization against legal liability, though, it’s incumbent on business leaders to prioritize and maintain stringent safety standards.
This can be accomplished through proactive measures, such as routine safety inspections and effective resource management. Institute and consistently enforce comprehensive safety policies, including robust safety training during employee onboarding and refresher training throughout the year. This will not only help prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace, but it can also help safeguard your company from legal and financial responsibility.