As a business owner and employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees are safe while they’re working. This is important both for the well-being of your employees and for you, as you could be in huge trouble if it’s found out that an employee was injured or worse because of your negligence. For most, it’s obvious that you need to spend time and money making changes to keep your staff protected, but some business owners, think that they can get away with simply pointing out the fire escapes and hoping for the best. If you’re worried about the safety of your employees, then here are fifteen steps you should follow.
- Take A Look Around
One of the most important things that any employer can do is take a proper look around their business and spot areas that could pose a threat to you or your employees. This is known as a risk assessment as is a legal requirement in most places. When conducting your risk assessment, you should take every single possible risk into account, and should also check all of your alarms to make sure they work.
- Deal With Every Hazard
Identifying hazards isn’t enough to keep your employees safe; You also have to find ways to deal with them and make them less dangerous. For some hazards, this is easy, for example, if you had wires all over the floor, you’d just need to tidy them away to make them less dangerous, but for other hazards, it’s a bit more difficult. If you can’t eliminate a hazard, you need to identify it with a sign, so that employees know that there’s a danger.
- Give Induction Safety Training
When you hire new employees, you can’t just take them to their station and give them a pile of work. If you did this, and they came across something dangerous, or there was an emergency, they wouldn’t know what to do and might get injured as a result. It’s essential that you provide all of your employees with safety training before they start working for you, and that you go through the risk assessment with them so that they know what to look out for. The training itself should only be taught by a qualified individual in your business or a safety consulting service company. If you’ve reached out to a company for training, ensure they offer the correct services that fit your business needs.
- Repeat Safety Training Regularly
Over time, your employees are going to forget bits of their safety training, which could put them at a lot of risk. To keep them safe, it’s important that you repeat safety training regularly, especially if you conduct another risk assessment and spot new hazards. These days, you can find safety training courses online, which means that employees can refresh their memory themselves, rather than you have to come away from work to reteach every single one of your employee yourself.
- Be Aware Of Odd Behaviour
You might not think that any of your employees could ever do something to risk the safety of another, but it happens every single day in workplaces all over the world. As the boss, it is your job to keep an eye on all of your employees and spot when someone is acting differently than usual, as this could be an indication that they’re planning something or that they’re not properly focused on their work, which could lead to safety problems. When you find someone that’s acting differently, you should speak to them and find out what’s wrong, before something dangerous happens.
- Install Or Increase Security
People commit crimes because they think they can get away with it. It’s as simple as that. If someone knew that they wouldn’t be able to get away with doing something illegal, then they wouldn’t bother, because most people don’t fancy a stretch in prison. This means that installing or increasing security in your business is a great idea, as it discourages criminals from committing crimes that could put your employees in danger.
- Plan For Major Emergencies
There are lots of emergencies that could threaten the well-being of your employees, including fires, break-ins, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Even if your business has gotten to this point without facing any such emergency, there’s still a chance you might have to face one in the future, which means that it’s important that your employees know what to do. To ensure this, you should write down a plan for such emergencies and teach them to your staff.
- Conduct Regular Drills
There’s absolutely no point in planning for emergencies if these plans don’t work, which means that you need to try out each of your plans regularly to ensure effectiveness. Of course, these drills are fairly annoying and do take you and your employees away from work, but they’re necessary if you’re to keep your employees safe. While conducting these drills, you’ll be able to iron out any kinks in your plans, which could have resulted in injury in a real-life emergency.
- Install A Clocking System
Most small business owners install clocking systems to spot when employees are turning up late or leaving early so that they can adjust their pay accordingly and consider disciplinary action. However, even with the most honest employees on the planet, clocking systems are still essential. This is because they can show whether or not an employee is in the building, which is vital during an emergency when you’re trying to account for every member or your staff.
- Choose Leaders For Groups
During emergencies, your employees are put under a lot of stress, which can lead to miscommunication, and then to chaos. If you’re to keep the situation calm, you need to designate someone sensible to each group of your employees, so that they can take charge and keep everyone safe. It’s also a sensible idea to have these people learn first aid and take an online CPR certification class, just in case. Not everyone will be up for this job, so consider employees carefully and ask each of them if this is a responsibility they would be comfortable with.
- Log Every Single Incident
Every single time an employee gets sick or injured at work, it’s essential that you make a note of it and keep these together as a record, along with anything you did after each incident occurred. This could keep you safe in the future and avoid you getting into legal trouble, but can also keep your employees safe now, as it allows them the chance to learn from their mistakes. Every time there is an incident, think about your risk assessment, and consider what you could change to stop it happening again.
- Avoid Overworking Employees
When planning the work rotas, take time to consider how many hours you’re giving each of your employees. If you’re trying to meet a tough deadline, then it can be tempting to offer lots of overtime hours to your best members of staff, but you should avoid giving them too many. If you overwork your employees, then they’ll become exhausted, which could lead them to make dangerous mistakes, whether inside or outside the workplace, and this could put their well-being at risk.
- Consider Self-Defense Classes
Learning to protect yourself is important both inside and outside of work, so you should consider hiring a self-defense teacher for a day, or even just an afternoon, to teach you and your team members what to do if they were ever attacked. Your employees will appreciate the break from work, and will also learn vital skills that can help them to defend themselves, their colleagues, and even customers, depending on your industry.
- Speak To The Experts
When something goes wrong in your business, and someone is injured as a result, as the employer and owner, you could be held liable, and as such could face a hefty fine or even jail time. To avoid this, you should speak to experts, like lawyers and the police, before something goes wrong, to get their advice. They may be able to suggest safety measures, courses, or changes to your plans that you haven’t thought of. Even the smallest change could prevent an injury that could get you into a lot of trouble.
- Encourage Employees To Talk
If you really want to keep your employees safe, then one of the most important things that you should do is help to create a warm and welcoming environment, so that employees know that they can come and speak to you about anything. If there is anything wrong, it’s important that your staff feel as though they can come to you and discuss it, so that you can come up with a solution together. Of course, you’re probably really busy, but the welfare of your employees should always come above anything else you need to deal with.
Accidents happen every single day, and although some are completely unavoidable, some definitely aren’t. To keep your employees safe and avoid as many injuries as you possibly can, it’s essential that you introduce the appropriate safety measures into your workplace. If you fail to do this, then you could be held liable, so don’t be the boss that doesn’t care.