No company wants to have a lawsuit on their hands, nor do they want their employees to be constantly injured. It isn’t as simple as just telling the workers to “work safer”. Measures need to be taken in order to make sure there are fewer injuries and fatalities in the workplace. Here are some steps which can improve work conditions and everyone’s safety.
1. Safety as a Priority
The company must never prioritize profits over safety, as that will lead to poor work conditions, poor equipment, and more injuries. The paradox of doing so is that all that money the company has “saved” will end up being spent hiring lawyers and defending a lawsuit. Detailed records must be kept of any accidents. Not just the ones in which there has been an injury or a fatality. A detailed report of every accident and working on them can make sure that those that ended without an injury can help in the future to make sure an incident doesn’t happen that does result in an injury.
2. High Quality Gear
One of the benefits of living in the 21st century is contemporary technology. So why not take advantage of it? Using modern tools allows the workplace to be a safer place to work in. The need for humans to access tight spaces to survey the area can be made obsolete by using drones instead. So, consider updating the uniforms, machines, tools, storage, etc. Experimenting with robotics and smart tools is also a thing you can look into.
3. Background Checks
Sometimes, it is not the company’s fault for employees behaving poorly. Some people can be irresponsible and lead the whole team into a possible accident. This is why the employer is completely justified to make a background check for the possible employee. Consulting with previous employers and references on whether the candidate takes his job seriously, listens to orders, and doesn’t take major risks at work. These qualities especially shine when working in construction sites and other dangerous workspaces.
4. Proper Training
In order to have a well-functioning group, they must have proper training. Specialized training can go a long way, from minimizing safety risks to higher efficiency in completing tasks. An employee that hasn’t been properly trained to use their equipment is a danger to not only himself, but his colleagues. If the employer invests in the proper training of the employees, they will see the effects of it in the not-so-distant future.
5. Regular Inspections
People get used to their surroundings fast. If you don’t offer regular inspections, it will be a hive mind for incidents. The workplace needs to be clean at all times, the equipment must be inspected to make sure it’s functioning properly and not a hazard.
6. Clear communication
Proper planning and communication are imperative for most tasks. Everyone must be on the same level in terms of knowledge about the given task to avoid any misconceptions that can lead to injuries. Encouraging feedback goes hand in hand with this. What better way to get insight about improving work conditions than from the people who work in them? For this, clear communication between the higher-up management and regular employees must be upheld. There must not exist a bureaucratic nightmare where all the feedback gets lost in middle management. Regular meetings about safety protocols and work conditions are a great and direct way of clear communication.
7. Use Safety Signs
Signs are great, they are cheap, effective, and nothing can be misunderstood about a big red sign saying: DANGER. Safety signs encourage safe behavior around the workplace. They are distinct enough, so that they can be immediately understood even without prior knowledge from the higher-ups.
8. Minimize Repetitive Tasks
Repeating the same task over and over again wears us down both mentally and physically. Occupational overuse syndrome (OOS) is a type of injury common to fingers, hands, wrists, and elbows. It is caused by repetitive movements or awkward postures. OOS is also known as repetitive strain injury or RSI. Its most common with office jobs, manual labor, and processing. It can cause muscle weakness, pain, numbness, swelling, and restricted joint mobility. Breaks are a good way of avoiding the problem, but in order to take care of it, the hazard causing OOS must be removed.
9. Automate Risky Processes
Labor is expensive and with hard physical labor, there are numerous things that can go wrong. A machine can offer the strength of ten men without break. The key difference is that it’s easier to replace than a human.
10. Encourage Breaks
Overexertion is the leading factor for injury causes. It amounts to a quarter of all worksite injuries. People are prone to pushing themselves above their limits. This is why it’s important to encourage breaks. Our bodies are fragile and cannot be strained constantly. Sooner or later, they will give up. Taking even five minutes from time to time to stretch, lowers the chances of getting OOS. It helps avoid stress and loosens muscle tension, so let your employees rest a bit from time to time.