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5 Easy Ways to Ensure Employee Safety in the Office
Posted by Insightlink on 02/12/20
According to the recently published data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2018, with 2019 statistics still not available. With this in mind, ensuring employee safety around the office is of paramount importance and one of the fundamental elements of business management.
It’s also a legal requirement to provide a safe working environment for all employees, so to help you implement best practice in your organization, the packaging specialists at No1 Packaging will be sharing a number of actionable steps you can take to bolster safety in your office. As a result, this will not only prioritize the health and wellbeing of your employees, but it can also contribute to improved staff morale and productivity in the process - a win-win for your business and your employees.
Create a workplace safety culture
One of the most effective ways to improve safety in your workplace is to start talking about it with your employees. An organization that actively discusses health and safety around the workplace will ensure it’s not just a series of boxes being ticked, but in fact an integral part of your workplace culture.
It also encourages employee input on important issues surrounding health and safety and can help employers get a better understanding of the potential risks staff members face on a day-to-day basis - as well as how to effectively address them to avoid any future incidents.
As a starting point, implementing periodic reviews of safety in the office with regular risk assessments and employee surveys throughout the year could help to identify new risks or ways to avoid them. A continued commitment to maintain high standards of health and safety in the office will all go towards cultivating a workplace safety culture and emphasize the value put on employees’ health.
Actively educate staff
Educating staff of the potential risks they may face in the workplace and arming them with the right knowledge on how to deal with them is also a fundamental part of developing a workplace safety culture.
To do this, you should provide all staff with the appropriate fire safety training, including fire evacuation protocol and fire drills. It’s also advisable to have a selection of designated fire safety officers within the team who have been trained on how to use fire safety equipment and how to implement effective evacuation protocol in the event of a fire. In addition, offering first aid training to staff members will ensure the appropriate first aid treatments are given if an incident arises.
Use labels and signs
Your risk assessments should highlight any potential hazards, but it’s essential you cover all bases to ensure workers are able to quickly identify them, too. Putting up warning labels and signs to alert staff of possible hazards is a cost-effective and highly visual way of prompting staff to consider the safety aspects of what they’re doing.
Whether it’s warning staff about a wet floor to avoid slipping, a hot water sign by the communal kettle or even an asbestos warning label, creating a visual reminder will ensure that even the most experienced staff are fully aware of all the potential safety issues in the office.
Keep the office clutter-free and clean
This may seem like an obvious point, but in busy working environments, keeping the floors and desks clean and clear is a fundamental part of workplace safety. From tangled computer cables and boxes of old files to overflowing bins, these all have the potential to be risks to employees - whether that’s by them tripping over a loose cable or the hygiene concerns associated with an unsanitary desk.
Ensuring you and your employees regularly clean and tidy work stations and the surrounding areas will help to keep a good handle on the overall cleanliness of the office. You could even introduce a tidy desk policy with a monthly reward programme to encourage employees to take personal pride in the upkeep of their work space, although for the more labor-intensive cleaning jobs, we recommend employing professional cleaners.
Keep comfort in mind
Considering the comfort of your staff can also contribute to cultivating a safer working environment, particularly as back pain and soreness is cited as one of the three most common workplace injuries for those who sit for long periods.
With this in mind, investing in ergonomic furniture and other desk equipment like wrist supports for your employees could go a long way in helping to keep them healthier. Office chairs and desks that are the right height and offer lumbar support - as well as comfortable communal out areas for breaks - could help to reduce the strain on the back, neck and shoulders from typical desk work.
Whether you oversee 50 or 5000 people within your company, putting their health and safety in the workplace first should be a top priority as an employer. We hope that, with the tips this article provides, you’ll be able to take the right steps towards developing a safer, happier and more engaging place to work.
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AboutInsightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.
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