Businesses have an obligation and obvious personal interest in keeping their employees safe, secure and comfortable in the workplace. There are several strategies that can be used to promote safety, some more complex than the others, but all important in providing an environment where employees can thrive. From prevention to emergency response, here are a few of the best strategies for keeping your employees safe.
Employee Education and Training
Make safety a priority within your company culture. If possible, offer classes or seminars that can not only increase safety awareness, but also give employees valuable life skills that could save lives in the case of an emergency. These classes could include CPR training, crisis management or self-defense. A culture of safety awareness can go a long way in preventing minor safety hazards and promoting a proper response, and your employees likely will appreciate the opportunity.
Create a Crisis Plan (drills)
It’s not enough to simply be aware of safety hazards such as faulty equipment, cluttered exits or misused chemicals. Some emergencies require immediate action, including fires, natural disasters and active shooters. That’s why it’s so important to have a crisis plan in place. Your crisis plan should be thorough and include each employee’s responsibility. Of course, your plan is only as good as your ability to execute it. That means mandatory drills should be scheduled throughout the year. Any new employees should also be notified of these procedures upon hiring.
Properly Posted Safety Signs
Because we see them so often, safety signs can be taken for granted. But safety signs are designed and installed for a very specific purpose. For example, as required by federal law, emergency lighting “should put out light that is at least an avg. of 1 foot-candle, and never less than .1 foot-candle.” Those kind of regulations can be confusing (what’s a foot-candle?), so be sure all of your ADA signs, emergency signs and regulatory signs are updated, properly installed and in compliance with federal and state laws. Failing to do so could mean expensive litigation, or worse, injury to an employee.
Identify Safety Leaders
We know it can be difficult to keep all employees up to date on every safety precaution, rule and plan. That’s why we recommend identifying leaders within the workplace, either by department, location or character. These safety leaders carry more responsibility to be informed and capable of handling potentially dangerous situations. Be sure to hold these employees to a higher standard while also rewarding their efforts to keep their fellow employees safe.
Assess Your Specific Situation
Safety is not a one-size-fits-all practice. Some workplaces, such as manufacturing facilities or construction sites, are inherently more dangerous than others. These work environments should err on the side of caution as any complications could potentially be a life-or-death situation. That doesn’t mean business offices should skimp on safety prevention and awareness. Take stock of where your business is located, what potential problems may arise and react accordingly.
Time and resources are a worthwhile investment to educate your employees about safety in the workplace. Implementing proactive safety solutions can make current employees feel valued, attract new employees and even increase productivity. If you’re unsure if your current safety signs are installed properly or if you need new safety signs for your facility, let us know by calling 800-FASTSIGNS or contacting your local FASTSIGNS location.
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