Every day, you have a responsibility. Every employee that walks into your business is someone you need to keep safe from the moment they start working until the moment they leave to go home. When you think about it, that’s a lot of weight for someone to bear. But, it’s also an important part of any successful business.
When your employees know that you genuinely care about their safety and well being, they’re more likely to show their appreciation through the work they do.
Unfortunately, there are still thousands of fatal work-related injuries every year. Many of them are even fatal. While it’s true that many injuries come from more hands-on jobs, they really can happen anywhere when proper safety precautions aren’t taken.
So, while your employees should know how to protect themselves at work, it’s also your job as an employer to care for their safety and overall wellbeing. With that in mind, what can you do to keep your employees safe on the job?
Do Checks of Your Surroundings
When was the last time you took a walk around your building and made sure everything was safe and running smoothly? Are there any hazards to be concerned about? Are the electrical outlets up to code? Are there any repairs to the building that need to be made in order to keep it more structurally sound?
Even something as simple as cords finding their way out from underneath a desk can be a tripping hazard that needs to be addressed and remedied.
You should do safety checks at least a few times a month. If you don’t think you have the eye for it, why not call in a professional? Even someone like a handyman, electrician, or contractor can take a look around and tell you if anything should be a concern.
Keep in mind that it’s often the small things (like computer cords) that can cause the biggest problem, so it’s important to notice small details about things that could be dangerous.
Keep Track of Your Employees’ Emotional Health
Being a little stressed at work isn’t necessarily uncommon, but when you pay close attention to your employees, you can usually tell if someone is dealing with something more serious. Do you have an employee who always seems depressed, frustrated, or just down about life? Take a look at their work – is it suffering lately? Have they stopped getting along with co-workers or even interacting?
One way to keep your employees safe is to invest in their mental health. Every employer knows about workers’ compensation insurance, but it can be beneficial to your business to offer some type of mental health insurance or incentive, too.
If you do notice an employee that seems to be struggling, mentally, offer to talk to them or get them some help right away. In some unfortunate circumstances, they may become a danger to themselves, or to other employees.
Train, Teach and Have Drills in Place
One of the best things you can do to keep your employees safe is to require regular safety training classes or update them with new materials on how to stay protected. No matter what industry you’re in, employees should be trained on things like first aid and CPR. Again, accidents can happen and the more people who are prepared, the better.
When we think about safety, it’s often about the physical side of things. But, in today’s tech-savvy business world, it’s also important to train your employees in tech and cyber safety.
Of course, your business should have firewalls and encrypted data in place to keep your network safe. But, your employees should implement precautions like strong passwords for all of their work accounts. Knowing the importance of cyber-safety will not only keep your business safe, but it can keep your employees safe from having their information leaked or hacked into.
If you have managers or other leaders within your business, make sure they go the extra mile when it comes to safety training. It’s their job to monitor sections of your business, so it’ll be easier for them to spot potential risks and threats. When they’re trained to handle those things, your business will be safer, overall.
Additionally, you can keep your workers confident in emergency situations by practicing drills for different events. Everyone should know what to do and where to go in case of a fire. If you live in an area that frequently gets threatened by bad weather like hurricanes or flooding, you should have plans in place for those situations, too. Unfortunately, many businesses have to consider plans and drills for active shooter situations, as well. While no one wants to think about such events, it’s important to have a plan in place that ensures the safety of the people working in the building.
Develop an Open Environment
We live in a “see something, say something” culture. That’s an important phrase to keep in mind, especially in the workplace. Unfortunately, many employees might be too nervous or embarrassed to come forward and talk about anything for a variety of reasons.
One thing you can do to remedy that mindset is to have an open-door culture. Make sure your employees know that they can always come to you with any questions or concerns they might have. If someone feels unsafe or has a problem, it’s crucial that you know about it right away. Are you busy with your own tasks and responsibilities? Yes. But, those should never take precedence over the general well being of the people who work for you.
When you create this kind of culture, you’re showing that you’re a proactive employer that truly cares for your workers.
There’s a lot resting on your shoulders when you have employees who work under you. Every business owner knows that without great employees, their company wouldn’t be successful. So, show that you value every part of those employees by making their safety a priority. Keep these tips in mind, and put them into practice to develop a positive culture of safety and protection within your business.