Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

Safety First: Top 7 Essential Tips for Improving Workplace Safety

A safe employee is a happy employee. This means your workplace should be safe. Read on to learn the top seven essential tips for improving workplace safety.

The last thing you want to happen in your workplace is an accident. This puts a big strain on the relationships with your employees and it turns into a hefty expense if you find yourself handling a worker’s compensation claim.

All it takes is one employee to have one accident for others to feel unsafe at work. This can lower employee morale and even increase your turnover rate.

Before you know it, the expense of an accident claim will be the least of your problems. Luckily, there are many ways to improve workplace safety and ensure it doesn’t happen! Here are 7 tips to make your office/work site the safest it can be.

1. Identify Your Opportunities for Better Safety

The good news about improving workplace safety is it doesn’t have to be a complete transformation of the operations you already have in place. All you have to do is look for the biggest areas of improvement.

Maybe it’s time to do something about the stuff that’s randomly sitting in the hall or to create a better evacuation route in case you ever need to use it. Maybe the best thing you can do to keep your employees safe is to change where you store some of your equipment or how it’s used in general.

These are simple fixes that make a big difference. But of course, it doesn’t mean you should overlook the minor details of employee safety.

2. Get Feedback from Your Employees

If you really want to make sure you’ve covered all your bases, talk to your employees. They can offer a fresh perspective on workplace safety you may not have thought of.

Plus, including them in the safety improvement process lets them know you care and that their input is valuable. It significantly strengthens your relationships with them.

3. Create an Updated Safety Plan

Once you’ve done your own research and talked to employees, it’s time to get to work. Turn your ideas into action and create an updated safety plan.

Give clear, actionable steps for all employees to take to improve safety. Tell them what you’re doing as an employer to look out for them and inform them of when and how these changes will take place.

Make sure everyone is on the same page as you distribute the new safety plan. Host a meeting to talk about changes in employee safety and use this time to talk about why it matters, too.

4. Display Safety Rules and Regulations Where Everyone Can See Them

As effective as a meeting on employee safety can be, it’s also good for employees to have a reminder of safety best practices. Get posters and signs to put up in the office. Display them in the break room and in walkways for all to see.

If you operate a place of employment that deals with heavy labor or outdoor work, put safety reminders on equipment. Give your employees signs to put up for bystanders to be aware of their presence as well. The more reminders you have in place, the safer everyone will be.

5. Make Workplace Safety a Part of Employee Training

Keep in mind some employees may be new to your team. They may have come on board as you were transitioning from your old safety policies to your new terms. Or, they may be a recent hire you add to the team after all your new policies are in place.

Either way, you need to train the new people on proper safety practices. This keeps every single person on your team on the same page. Take the time to touch on every detail of the safety policy and make sure they understand.

Encourage an open dialogue about why certain rules are in place and what could happen if they aren’t followed. Ask if your new hire has any ideas on how to make things even better or if they notice any major differences from their old place of employment. This will improve their understanding of your safety expectations and help you build a good relationship with them, too.

6. Encourage Employees to Hold Each Other Accountable

Once everyone is on the same page about safety expectations, they’re better able to hold each other to higher standards.

You want to create a sense of accountability in the workplace. This means employees will make it a habit to look after one another and to correct each other when safety practices aren’t getting followed.

Everyone should do this in a way which is encouraging and informative. You don’t want your team to put each other down when making corrections. But, it is very important to make safety corrections when expectations aren’t getting followed.

7. Investigate the Cause of an Accident

At the end of the day, there’s still a chance an accident happens to an employee while they’re on the clock. You can’t be absolutely certain that you’re able to prevent this from happening. But, you are in a position to investigate the cause of an accident when it does happen.

This prepares you to make better safety initiatives moving forward. It helps minimize the chances of a certain accident happening to someone else and it’s the first step in preparing yourself for a worker’s comp case if an employee decides to sue.

Such an extreme action isn’t always the outcome. Some people will simply file their worker’s comp, get their benefits, and come back to work when they’re healed. Others want every penny they can get and they may try to place blame on their employer or hurt their reputation.

Whatever happens, you should always be prepared. To learn more about workers comp, read more here about employer requirements and options in dealing with this kind of situation.

Workplace Safety, Team Building, and Productivity Made Simple

Workplace safety is an essential aspect of every job. No one wants to feel like they have to look over their shoulder when doing hard labor or that they’re walking into an unsafe office every day.

More so, changes to the safety policy give you an opportunity to do some team building when implementing new rules. It’s also a chance to figure out how you can improve productivity while making everyone feel safe.

For more insights on these matters, check out our article.