To ensure effective operations, you must provide your employees with a safe working environment. Many business owners believe that a severe injury to their workers is a remote possibility, yet, every year, thousands of people get injured or killed on the job.
By taking the following common-sense steps, you will improve workplace safety and protect your employees from hazards. This ultimately leads to a more productive working environment and better overall business performance.
- Provide Workers With the Appropriate Safety Tools
The prevalent hazards at a workplace vary based on the type of business being conducted on the premises. For example, if you own/manage a chemical production plant, the common hazards are exposure to toxic gases, spillage, and fire accidents. A steel plant would have a different class of dangers.
To keep employees safe, make sure that the tools they need to protect themselves are available at all times. Protective garments, face masks, helmets, respirators, rubber gloves, steel-toed boots, goggles, shoe covers, and essential tools must be provided.
Furthermore, don’t forget general safety tools like a fully stocked first-aid box, fire extinguishers; fire, smoke, and gas detection systems, and so on. For a comprehensive list of safety tools that your business may need, seek consultation from a health and safety expert.
- Organize Regular Safety Workshops
After providing your employees with the appropriate equipment, make sure that they know how to use these tools effectively. It is pointless to have fully functional fire extinguishers that your workers don’t know how to deploy when there’s an emergency.
Experts recommend biannual/annual safety workshops. So, every six to twelve months, you must bring in HSE experts to train your employees on how to protect themselves from workplace hazards. Regular workshops are important because new safety risks get discovered frequently, and it is vital to stay on top of changes in the health and safety sector.
- Post Safety Signs Around the Workplace
Your employees may get carried away and forget to take the necessary precautions. Workers also get tired, and they often become lax, leading to small mistakes that can be dangerous in the workplace. This is why you need signposts. These signs need to be placed in strategic places, and warnings like WASH YOUR HANDS, HELMET AREA, WARNING: TOXIC GASES, etc. must be displayed prominently on them. Don’t forget that posting signposts is also a legal requirement as per UAE Health & Safety law.
- Devise an Emergency Plan and Practice Drills
You need to prepare your employees for the different types of emergencies they may face in the workplace. Anybody that’s been involved in an emergency knows how chaotic things can get. People abandon logic and act mostly on instinct. As a result, you must create an emergency response plan that all employees can follow.
Furthermore, you need to organize drills to practice these plans so that all workers can become familiar with every step. So, when these emergencies occur, everyone knows what to do, and the damage to life and property is substantially minimized.
- Improve Workplace Safety Consistently
Just as managers seek ways to optimize work methods and achieve better results at less cost, it is crucial to improve on workplace safety consistently. Spend time with your employees, find out what their primary concerns are, and implement changes based on their suggestions. Engage HSE experts and have them conduct a comprehensive audit of your company’s safety framework on a regular basis.
When you create a comprehensive safety infrastructure for your employees, you signal to them that you care about their wellbeing. This incentivizes them to be more dedicated and perform their duties more effectively. On another note, safe workplace practices protect you from lawsuits and labor disputes. It also keeps your facility operational and without the disruption that follows a major accident.