While a large percentage of the workforce has moved to jobs that require little more than sitting at a desk all day, there are still many individuals whose work is much more physically strenuous—and more dangerous. If you employ workers in an environment where there is high risk for injury, your company needs to take extra steps to ensure that your employees are adequately protected. While you may not be able to prevent every possible accident or injury, taking some key precautions can make a huge difference for the safety of your employees and your company’s continued success.
It Starts With the Right Equipment
For many workforces, the simple implementation of the latest safety equipment can have the greatest overall impact. For example, communications and protective equipment for mining personnel now go well beyond headlamps and hard hats. Modern equipment not only improves on these basic protective devices, but also integrates smart technology to track workers’ locations and send alerts should an accident take place.
These tech developments not only offer better protection during an on-the-job accident and help workers avoid these issues in the first place; they also facilitate the accident response and rescue processes—vital areas where a worker’s life is at stake.
Even if your work facility isn’t as high-risk as a mine, you can still make significant strides in employee safety by purchasing the most up-to-date safety technology for your industry. Even simple safety upgrades (such as protective railings or improved lighting) can provide more adequate protection for both your workers and equipment.
Creating a Culture of Safety
Of course, creating a truly safe work environment for your employees requires more than just installing new protective equipment. To get the best results, you need to ensure that safety becomes a part of your company’s culture.
How do you instill this culture of safety? The exact answer will differ from industry to industry, but a good place to start is by establishing guidelines for best safety practices. These could cover everything from rules regarding where a hard hat should be worn to the step-by-step process for disposing of hazardous materials.
As an employer, examples of your commitment to safety need to come from the top down. Providing regular safety trainings is a good place to start, but your example needs to extend beyond a formal classroom-type setting. Ensure that supervisors are enforcing safety practices on the job. In some cases, you may even wish to incentivize following safety guidelines to further motivate your employees.
When these efforts are combined with needed upgrades to safety equipment, you can create a lower risk workplace.
The Benefits of Safety
While it’s true that these safety upgrades and training cost money, it is essential that you look at employee safety as a long-term investment. First, there are the obvious benefits: a safe work environment and company culture significantly reduce the likelihood that you would ever be sued by an employee because of a workplace injury or be subjected to fines and sanctions due to unsafe facilities.
More importantly, however, a safe work environment improves your employee’s happiness and health. When your employees know that you care about their well-being, they are more likely to be motivated to turn in their best work. By avoiding injury, your employees will also be able to work more effectively and generate better results for your customers. You will be less likely to experience high employee turnover, which can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Above all else, making employee safety a top priority is the ethical thing to do. As you set a positive example in your community, your company will be able to build a positive reputation and enjoy lasting success.