Cultivating a culture of safety should be a top priority for organizations of any size. A safe working environment keeps employees healthy, happy, and motivated to work, and it can save your company a lot of money. In fact, work-related injuries cost more than $260 billion every year according to a study by Rebecca J. Mitchell and Paul Bates entitled “Measuring Health-Related Productivity Loss.” Furthermore, an organization that values safety and security will certainly leave an impression of professionalism and integrity to clients, investors, and potential business partners.
It is always a great idea to regularly evaluate and improve the security status in your workplace. Whether you are in the process of setting up safety in your organization or looking for ways to improve, here are four strategies to help make your employees feel secure when they work.
Set Clear Safety Guidelines
Having a clear and comprehensive set of safety guidelines is one of the necessary ingredients if you want your business to run smoothly and optimally. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to safety. Different organizations have different safety needs, so make sure to take into consideration your organization’s size, the nature of your operations, and other pertinent factors when laying down the safety rules and standard operating procedures.
Furthermore, these safety rules should be properly disseminated so that everyone in the team knows what they are and what to do during safety-sensitive situations. Employees will feel much more secure if they know that you have taken time to design safety regulations and that everyone in the organization knows what they are.
Screen Job Applicants
Each employee can be an asset or a liability in the business. Hiring someone who is unqualified for a role can result in harmful consequences that can range from losses in productivity to life-threatening accidents that can irrevocably tarnish your reputation.
Keep your business efficient by having a thorough screening process for your job applicants. These tests will vary depending on your operations and the type of work involved, but they can include comprehensive hair, blood, and saliva drug tests, impairment exams, psychological evaluations, and physical aptitude tests.
Your employees will feel more motivated to work knowing that everyone on the team is qualified and dependable. You too will also feel secure knowing you can trust your team to deliver results.
Secure Dangerous Areas
It may sound obvious that employers should secure areas in the workplace that are dangerous, but this reminder cannot be emphasized enough. Case in point, in 2014, it was reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that 14 percent of fatalities in the workplace were caused by falls.
There are different possible reasons fall-related accidents happen, so always evaluate which areas in the workplace need extra security, and tailor-fit your solution. For example, for construction companies that require employees to climb high areas, employers need to install guardrails and require employees to wear harnesses or other safety equipment.
Other important reminders include installing sophisticated locks and security mechanisms in locations that have hazardous materials like chemicals or high-voltage devices. Make sure you invest in heavy-duty locks that will not easily break, and use lockpicking tools to test these locks. You can also consider issuing gate passes for these risky areas to ensure that only authorized people can access them.
Encourage Everyone to Be Proactive
Safety shouldn’t just be the responsibility of security personnel and top-level managers in the workplace. Each member of the team must at least have basic knowledge on what to do during emergency situations.
Does your team know where they can get a first aid kit in case someone gets injured? Does everyone know what to do in case an earthquake happens? Do your employees know how to put out a fire?
Make sure you conduct regular emergency drills and trainings to keep everyone up-to-date. Knowing critical information can mean the difference between life and death.
Last but not the least, you must establish clear and open communication lines with everyone in the team so they can give real-time feedback if they notice something lacking in the current safety procedures. When you equip employees with knowledge on how to properly respond to emergency situations, you help them become more confident not just in your organization but also in themselves as purveyors of safety.