Whether you’re just starting out on creating a safety protocol for your work environment, or you’ve been following a particular procedure for many years, we believe there are always ways to make your work place even safer.
Take a look at some of these strategies and consider how you might implement them to create safer, more efficient work environments for you and your employees.
- Take Breaks: One easy way to encourage employee health is by scheduling regular stretch breaks throughout the work day. This is particularly helpful for employees who are performing repetitive motions. By taking 5 minutes every couple of hours, to stretch and loosen joints, this can help to minimize injuries.
- Jump on the training train: Training sessions aren’t always the most fun, but they are very important. By scheduling regular, comprehensive safety trainings for your employees you are ensuring that the information they need to know will be fresh in their minds.
- Use signs and labels: Break out the label maker or printer and easily communicate important information. Not only are signs a relatively cost-effective method, but they again, help to keep pertinent, job-specific safety reminders in front of employees where they need to see it most.
- Engage a reward system: There’s nothing wrong with a little bribery, right? You can encourage employee compliance to safety procedures (even training attendance) by offering rewards or other incentives that will motivate employees to stay engaged with the safety protocol.
- Cleanliness is next to Godliness: Cluttered and messy workspaces tend to breed more injuries. Take time regularly to tidy up spare equipment and boxes, and a variety of other items that could be found in your workplace. Ensure that messes and spills are cleaned up promptly after they occur as well.
- Implement the Hierarchy of Controls: After you identify potential safety hazards in your work environment, there are 5 different ways that you can handle the hazard to create a safer work place. Depending on what your situation is, it is possible that only certain options will be suitable. First is literally removing the physical hazard. If the hazard can be removed without impeding work, go for it. Second is replacing the hazard. Is there and alternative piece of equipment/tool/task that can take place of what is causing the hazard? Third is isolating the hazard. If you have a dangerous piece of equipment, can it be placed in a separate room, or be caged in so that only the specially trained employees who use this machine can have access to it? Fourth is adjusting how people work. If you can’t remove or replace the hazard, can you change the way employees interact with it? This could look like using more safety signage, check lists, changing up the order of the tasks, or giving more frequent breaks. And finally, the one item that could be applied in virtually any situation is the use of personal protective equipment, like masks, helmets, goggles, or gloves.