It’s an employer’s responsibility to make sure employees are working in a safe and healthy environment. That is why they must take measures to ensure the safety of everyone- that includes their physical safety and welfare. The safety and health of employees needs to be a main priority for employers. The good news is that you don’t have to take this challenge on your own. Simply follow the rules of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OSHA). OSHA states, “A workplace must be planned, constructed, used and maintained to protect from danger any person working at the workplace.” Also become aware of state laws regarding the health and safety procedures because they may be different from federal laws.
Maintaining a safe work environment will protect employees from accidents and hazards. Get employees involved in your mission to maintain a safe and healthy work environment by offering prevention and wellness activities. Have a first aid kit and other medical supplies in place so injured employees can be treated immediately. If one of your employees is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, do the right thing and offer early intervention and rehabilitation program to ensure the recovery and health of your employee. All of these precautions and procedures will demonstrate how the health of your employees is a main priority to your organization.
Make the workplace free of any hazardous chemicals. OSHA policy specifies that employees must be protected from exposure to hazardous chemicals and biological agents. Mold, bodily fluids and animals waste are just some of the things that employees must never be exposed to in the workplace. Each chemical handled must have a safety date sheet available to employees. They must be aware of the health effects of exposure and risks involved in using the chemicals.
In order to maintain a safe work environment, you should consistently search and eliminate workplace hazards. You can do this by conducting routine maintenance and housekeeping measures. Educate employees on identifying hazards and risks and have them report to you if they encounter any. Make a fire escape route and post the fire exit plan on exit doors. Make sure your office has a fire extinguisher that is visible to everyone and accessible in case of a fire.
Part of your safety mission should be to avoid accidents from happening. Prevention is key when it comes to safety in the workplace. This is why you should make your safety program specific and prompt corrective action to be taken in the event of an injury or accident. If an accident does occur, you must have a plan to aggressively find out what was the cause of the accident and eliminate it to prevent further accidents from occurring.
At the end of the day, safety makes for good business. When you reduce the number of injuries and illnesses you end up reducing the cost of workers’ compensation, medical expenses, litigation expenses and potential government fines. With the commitment and participation of the entire organization, you can create a culture that is safety and healthy, not just a program.
IMAGE: Courtesy of SCI Advantage