Many people associate occupational accidents with high-risk industries such as logging, construction, and agriculture. The reality is injuries occur in all types of workplaces, whether it’s a construction site, a workshop, or a climate-controlled office building. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries are reported every year.
Occupational safety and health requirements differ from industry to industry, with some requiring more guidance and regulation due to the nature of their work. However, small, avoidable mistakes still occur, which can lead to injuries and illnesses. In some cases, workers turn to legal representation to ensure industry compliance, such as a truck driver rights lawyer.
A safe workplace is a productive one. Here’s how to keep the workplace safe for everybody:
1. Carry out a safety plan
Many of the 2.8 million workplace injuries that occur every year are entirely preventable. A business that has a safety plan in place can substantially reduce the risk of accidents. The initial cost of implementing a safety plan pays for itself many times over when you consider the benefits of increased productivity, cheaper premiums, and reduced safety risks.
A safety plan must be tailor-fit to the conditions of the workplace. You can hire a consultant to probe the workplace for safety vulnerabilities to help you guide in the creation of the safety plan. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA also offers programs and training courses for specific industries. You can integrate these education programs into your company’s safety plan.
2. Train your employees
One of the cornerstones of workplace safety is employee training and development. Untrained employees are more likely to cause or be involved in a workplace accident, as they lack the requisite skills and training to keep themselves and others safe. Training employees in the basics of occupational safety improves productivity.
If done right, a safety training plan should enable even new hires to contribute to workplace safety without sacrificing productivity. You should also make it a point to only hire trained workers for jobs that involved handling heavy equipment and machinery.
3. Provide safety gear
Employers are mandated to provide personal protective equipment or PPE to their workers, especially for high-risk jobs. Some conventional safety gear includes eye goggles, steel-toed boots, earmuffs, gloves, helmets, and other full-body protective garments. But easy access to safety gear isn’t enough. Your employees should also be trained in its use. Don’t forget to include PPE training in your safety training plan.
4. Keep the workplace clean
Workplace cleaning is more than just dusting the furniture and sweeping the floors. It also includes removing clutter and keeping workspaces free of hazards such as chemical waste and combustible and flammable materials. Employees are less likely to get injured if the workspace is clean and well-organized.
These pointers will help reduce the risk of accidents in your business. A single workplace injury can have serious consequences, from lost productivity and lowered morale to thousands of dollars in legal and medical expenses. Adopting a proactive mindset ensures a safer working environment for everyone.