Did you know that in 1970, an average of 38 workers were killed on the job every day, and now that number is down to 14 workers per day? Even though American workplaces have become a whole lot safer, that’s still 14 deaths too many.
Employers need to build a culture where workplace safety takes precedence, since the safer American workers are, the happier and more productive they are. Smart management knows this and includes employee safety in their list of priorities.
Are you a small business owner interested in learning how to build a safe and happy workplace? Here’s a simple guide on workplace safety that you won’t be able to do without.
Have Regular Workplace Safety Training For Your Employees
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Employees tend to follow workplace safety regulations for a while. But as time goes on, they fall back upon old habits that are unsafe and can cause workplace injuries. That’s why it’s so important to keep renewing their motivation and aspiration to follow workplace safety rules, by having frequent training sessions.
It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. Having a quick afternoon session to refresh them on all workplace safety rules is enough. This will keep things fresh in their mind and ensure that they can’t use forgetfulness as an excuse to get out of following workplace safety guidelines.
Implement Safety Protocols From The Start
It’s much harder to get someone to change their habits than to establish good habits from the get-go. That’s why smart management will set up safety protocols on any new procedures, processes, or equipment from the beginning of its usage. This way everyone is aware of and using safety standards and making it habitual.
The more you can create good workplace safety habits in your employees, the easier it will be for you to enforce them and ensure continued adherence. This will require a bit more work every time you purchase new equipment or have a new workspace set up. But it will also save you thousands of dollars in missed work hours and workplace compensation fees.
Give Your Employees The Right Tools And Safety Data Sheets
Your employee can’t protect himself or herself from harm if they are not provided with the right equipment to do so. For example, if they don’t have access to good-quality safety boots and helmets, they can’t be protected from falling objects and other impacts.
Another way you can ensure your employees have the right tools is by providing them with safety data sheets. And an online safety data sheet management software that can keep track of all safety behaviors, so you can run reports on it and gauge whether workplace safety is improving or not. Check out online-msds.com for one such software.
Reward Employees For Safe Behavior
Most small business owners will reprimand or fine employees for not following workplace safety rules. But they forget the other side of the equation. It’s easier to motivate people to do something with rewards rather than through punishments.
Build a workplace safety reward system using points or some other method. You can highlight all employees who are making workplace safety a priority in their daily activities. Not only will this motivate good employees to keep going with their outstanding behavior, but it will inspire others to amp up their adherence to the rules as well.
It’s a win-win situation for you as a small business owner. And the rewards can be something simple, like a gift card to a local steakhouse or a movie ticket. It doesn’t take much to reward good behavior, but it has a long-lasting effect on employee happiness.
Keep An Open Dialogue With Employees About Employee Safety
If upper management isn’t aware of or doesn’t care about employee safety rules and regulations, then lower management and staff won’t either. Workplace safety motivation has to come from upper management and it has to be translated down to the lowest person on the hierarchy.
This is an easy dilemma to fix though. Start building a regular and open dialogue between management and employees to ensure that everyone is in the loop on all workplace safety guidelines. Employees should feel comfortable walking up to their supervisors and speaking up about something that disturbs them about workplace safety rules.
Employees should also be encouraged to come with feedback, advice, and ideas on how to improve workplace safety standards. This way everyone can work on improving employee safety together. You could even implement a reward system here, where the person with the best idea every month would receive a gift card or some other item.
Upper management isn’t usually at ground level seeing how things go with workplace safety rules. But employees are.
So it’s important to build a bridge between the two. This way employees who see what’s happening at ground level can communicate it to upper management who have the power to instigate change.
If employees are afraid of being rebuked for coming up with recommendations or suggestions, then things will never improve in your workplace. Safety-wise and otherwise. It’s time to use employees as your ace-in-the-hole, rather than ignoring them.
Are You Ready To Get Started On Improving Employee Safety?
Workplace culture differs from business to business and from country to country. That’s why you need to observe levels of workplace safety in your small business and use that to improve standards and regulations.
Get your employees in on the action, and see how they blossom and grow. We are all in this together, and a safer workplace is a happier workplace.
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