Safety in the workplace is a top priority, regardless of the company. Every industry is exposed to a number of safety risks and by knowing, understanding, and ensuring against these risks, not only will the daily operations go smoothly and without any unforeseen interruptions, it will also cut on costs, increase morale and productivity, and it will inevitably save lives and prevent injury. Below are four ways to help keep your workplace safe.
Safety Training over Budget
It’s not uncommon for certain companies to restructure themselves or trim the budget due to financial restrictions. Unfortunately, often the first things to go are usually safety training and other safety systems in place. This managerial decision is not only shortsighted but also potentially dangerous.
When employees do not receive sufficient safety training or are not required to adhere to certain procedures or use proper safety equipment, it is only a matter of time before they are involved in a serious accident that can lead to property damages, injury, or even death. In the event something like this ever happening, the employee may be out of work for good and the employer will need to find a replacement.
Besides an immediate dip in overall morale and productivity across the company, the turnover cost of hiring someone new can range anywhere in between 5.8 to 213 percent of that employee's salary. In other words, replacing an $8 per hour employee can cost upwards of $4,000, which defeats the purpose of saving costs.
Working with the Right Subcontractors
When working with independent contractors, it is advisable that their employees also adhere to safety precautions. Even though they are not your employees, one such partnership can and will affect your own reputation. Likewise, untrained or ill-equipped personnel can put your own employees at risk of injury. The FTC has provided some guidelines when hiring subcontractors that can greatly decrease your risk factor when working with independent contractors.
The effectiveness of any team depends on its capacity to communicate. Many accidents in the workplace occur when there is a break in communications, both on a horizontal or vertical level. Employees should be encouraged to report any errors or potential safety issues instead of trying to fix them by themselves or hide it from their colleagues or superiors. They should also be allowed to speak their mind and offer suggestions on how to improve safety or streamline operations. The more open and honest communication a team can encourage, the safer and stronger that team will be.
A Clean Workspace Is a Safe Workspace
Keeping the workspace clean and clutter-free should go without saying. It isn't a stretch of the imagination to see how a chaotic worksite is an accident waiting to happen. Poorly stored tools and containers can fall and injure someone, and workers may trip over debris that isn’t picked up properly. These seemingly benign slips, trips, and falls are, in fact, the leading cause of serious accidents in any workspace.
In short, maintaining safety in the workplace boils down to proper training, safety equipment and procedures, adhering to the safety rules, a good internal communication, and an organized work site. Safety isn’t just a feel good thing to implement: it’s an investment that pays for itself many times over.