If you own a business, you might be preoccupied with profits and productivity, and forget about some of the most important aspects of running a venture: safety. It has to be present in every operation, and without clear guidelines and safety procedures, you will risk going out of business or damaging your brand’s reputation. Safety at work doesn’t only protect your company, but also its most important assets: employees. You have to go beyond complying with government recommendations and regulations, and do everything you can to make your workplace a safer place for employees, visitors, and the public. Below you will find out why putting safety procedures in place should be your number one priority.
As a bare minimum, you will need to comply with current state and federal regulations applicable to your industry. Make sure that you provide your workers with the relevant health and safety training and information, and get a safety at the workplace audit completed regularly. It is always better to prevent risks than dealing with the consequences of carelessness in your business. Carry out regular electrical safety checks by investing in a voltmeter and multimeter on Tool Nerds if you have high voltage machinery. You must keep an eye on the current regulations and sign up for updates from your local government agencies, so your business interest is protected, and you don’t end up receiving a fine due to non-compliance. If you are in doubt, you should always contact your industry office or government agency for advice.
Maintaining a safe workplace also makes financial sense. You will benefit from lower insurance premiums for your business premises and operations. If you can prove that you have done everything to keep your workers and the public safe, you will save hundreds of dollars on business insurance. Whether you need public liability insurance to carry out your business or not, you can save money by implementing straightforward safety guidelines and procedures and presenting them to your insurance company or government organization. A good safety track record will improve your finances as well.
Employees who feel safe at work will feel more valued and respected, and have a higher level of motivation. You need to make it clear that you are willing to help your employees stay safe. Educate them on manual handling procedures, and make sure that safety is everyone’s responsibility. While you might want to appoint a health and safety representative in the workplace who will coordinate checks and risk assessments, it is necessary that everyone takes ownership of the problem and reports risks as soon as they notice them. You don’t want your employees to have to go through various channels just to remove a faulty plug or get it replaced.
It is important that you safeguard vulnerable employees and support them in doing their job. People with disabilities will need more help. You might want to team up handicapped employees with able bodied ones, so they can get help when they need it. Likewise, it is important that you know about the different health needs of individuals in your organizations. If workplace adjustments are needed for some employees, make sure you get in touch with a work safety expert and get their full report. This will give you the peace of mind that you have done everything to support your disabled employees. Workers who might need adjustments for their workstations might be suffering from a long term health condition, such as back pain, eye strains, impaired vision, or hearing.
Avoiding accidents and emergencies in the workplace doesn’t only make financial sense, but also helps you protect your brand reputation. If word gets out that you don’t look out for the safety of your workforce or customers, you can lose long term contracts and your reputation will suffer. Transparency is the best approach, and you need to create different initiatives to make sure your workers and customers are protected from harm. You can install alarms and equipment that could potentially save lives, such as defibrillators and other devices to deal with health and other emergencies.
Accidents and faults can damage your business in different ways. If there is an electrical fire, your business can be shut down for several weeks. As a result, you will not be able to keep your deadlines, and lose some of your customers. If your workers suffer an accident, you will not be able to maintain your productivity, and face a loss of profits. At the same time, when there is a serious accident or health risk identified on your premises and your local government agency gets notified, your business can get shut down and fined. This will put jobs and the future of your company in jeopardy. Making sure that health and safety risks are identified as soon as possible makes financial sense.
You must supply your workers with protective equipment to do their work. At the same time, you must provide them with safety training and regular updates. Employees who operate machinery might need to go through training regularly to make sure their knowledge of the safety guidelines is up to date. It is also necessary that you make it everyone’s responsibility to report faulty equipment, dangerous situations, or risks. Have a confidential reporting policy in place, so your workers can let you know if somebody in your organization is not complying with the safety procedures, and ignores the guidelines set by you.
If you have lower risks of accidents and injuries in your workplace, you can be more confident planning for the future. It is recommended that you consult with risk assessment professionals and get help with managing equipment and dangerous activities. Create policies for disposing of waste and hazardous, toxic materials, and make sure that you have a policy for dealing with fire, water damage, and spillages.
If you manage to minimize the risks in the workplace, your business will run smoother, and you can enjoy continuity in your business. This will lead to happier employees, higher productivity, and better performance. As a result, you can focus on growing your business and making sure that safety is improved every day.
Better Work Morale
Happy workers who feel appreciated and looked after will have a better attitude towards your business and their work. Make health and safety procedures interesting but compulsory, and explain the importance of safeguarding and reporting issues. This way, you will be able to build a positive, trusting relationship with workers, and improve morale. If you would like to get help with eliminating risks while making safety at work everyone’s priority, you might enroll some of your workers to a Lean management training that will help them identify and eliminate risks within the business.
If maintenance schedules and safety checks are not followed, you will need to face with an increased number of breakdowns and emergencies in your business. Looking after your equipment can save you money long term. If your machinery that is being used for completing an urgent order breaks down due to negligence or lack of maintenance, you will lose productive time. As a result, you will not only have to pay for the repairs, but potentially be fined for missing the deadline. In some cases, you might get your workers to work overtime, but your costs will increase, therefore, your profits will plummet. If your business equipment breaks down, you could even lose long term contracts.
Protecting Valuable Assets
If you invested a million dollars in a piece of machinery, it makes sense to look after it. If it breaks down because employees didn’t follow the maintenance schedule, you will have to pay for the repair costs. You need to put some checks in place to make sure you are protecting your employees as well as your business assets, or you will lose your means of making money.
A workplace with a clear health and safety procedure benefits from higher working standards. As an example, if you run a printing business, and your workers don’t clean the printing heads regularly, and paint is dried on, your expensive machine will break down, or the quality of the next job will be compromised. If you don’t check the tire pressure on your delivery vans, your customers will be disadvantaged, and you will not be able to meet deadlines. Focus on every aspect of operation and identify risks that can damage your business.
Safety at work makes financial and business sense. You need to work with your employees and risk management professionals to learn how to identify risks and address them on time. Check the regulations in your industry and your state, and go beyond compliance. Protect your most valuable business assets: your premises, your employees, machinery, and reputation. Empower your workers through training and development, and make every person in your organization take personal responsibility for safety, risk management, and wellbeing.