5 Simple Steps To Improve Workplace Safety
No amount of money is worth the safety of lives – being in an unsafe workplace is no one’s idea of fun. So, if you want to start some good improvements, read this post.
The workplace is the center of daily activities and provides employment to a large number of people across a wide range of industries. Keeping employees safe in the workplace is therefore a major concern for employers.
If your company wants to reduce the probability of fatal workplace accidents and keep employees safe, it’s essential that you take measures to improve safety.
We understand that accidents at work are rarely due to a single factor – it is usually about shortcomings in the interaction between people, technology and the operational processes, hence safety improvement measures should be all-encompassing.
These 5 simple steps will make it easy to improve workplace safety:
Step 1: Make inspecting your work environment a habit
Regularly inspecting your workplace especially at the start and end of a work shift is just one of those things you do that improves the safety of your facility in addition to enhancing your credibility with your employees while adding to your own peace of mind.
The goal is to identify potential dangers associated with a workplace. This may be materials, procedures, out-of-place-items, actions/inactions etc. that can jeopardise the safety of a workplace and lead to an accident.
Tip: Use a Safety checklist so you don’t overlook what could turn out to be disastrous.
By doing so, you will drastically reduce the probability of workplace related mishap from happening thus boosting the chances of everyone remaining safe at work.
Step 2: Perform a Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
Although workplace safety programs are required by law, it is hard to keep track of everything. That is where JSA comes in to help you identify and control dangers inherent to specific jobs/tasks.
A job safety analysis can be likened to a pre-flight checklist used in aviation. Failing to conduct a job safety analysis or follow it in the workplace can result in injuries, accidents, and even fatalities.
The analysis determines what you and the worker needs to know – providing a clear picture of daily operations, which will help improve safety by making sure workers are proactive and better prepared for an emergency. Additionally, it reinforces accountability and promotes transparency and collaborations. All these combine to provide the basis for the design, development, implementation, and monitoring of effective and realistic workplace safety risk control measures.
Step 3: Follow the WHS guidelines for your workplace
In Australia, we have strong guidelines and laws for workplace safety. The WHS guidelines are put into place to ensure that all hazards that have been identified at your workplace are controlled so that they do not cause harm to staff or visitors.
Following the Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) guidelines is crucial for keeping your workplace safe. For more information about WHS policies and procedures check this blog post.
Have a WHS Management system in place. This would handle every aspect of your workplace health and safety including compliance, awareness, communication, use of appropriate equipment, documentation, PPE, management and workers obligation and so on.
Step 4: Train and Educate workers
Workers can acquire most of the professional skills in the work, but safety is a skill that should preferably be taught to employees before they begin work especially for jobs like construction, manufacturing, farming etc.
Experienced workers should also update their safety skills by participating in regular training throughout the year.
Training may be about simpler things such as fall protection and the correct use of ladders, but the goal is to ensure that everyone is adequately trained. Equipment handling, first aid, and compliance are areas where workers would benefit from proper education.
Once workers have completed safety training, they should be aware of the safety precautions to be taken in the event of an incident.
Equally important are drills. Yes, workers might have participated in regular safety training, drills provide the opportunity to practice the skills acquired which would help improve perfection and the chances of workers complying with safety regulations. When the knowledge acquired during safety training is practiced on site, employees are forced to apply their knowledge in real-life scenarios and environments where safety is crucial and thus consolidate their knowledge. A major win-win for everyone’s safety.
Step 5: Embrace the use of Technology
Technology is beneficial to business in many ways. It can help cut costs, communicate with teams remotely, and even boost productivity. One more positive technology has: it can improve workplace safety.
While technology is often the cause of some hazards, it can also be used to prevent them. While it is not the cure-all for workplace hazards that some overly optimistic organizations (and marketing departments) would like us to believe, it has become a part of our everyday working life – and a vital tool in management’s battle against dangerous conditions.
For example, a WHS management system software helps reduce drudgery and eliminates mistakes that a human is likely to make while dealing with WHS policies and procedures. In a vital area like safety, the consequences of mistakes can be immense. It is believed that pilots make mistakes (like slips during communications, applying wrong procedures etc) during flights, but still, no more accidents do not frequently occur. Why? Because technology plays a huge role in ensuring human mistakes do not lead to catastrophic consequences.
So, don’t be reluctant, leverage the powers of the best technologies for workplace safety out there and you’ll see the safety of your workplace improve from day one!