The last two years have thrown workplace safety into the spotlight.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and all the risks associated with it, companies everywhere have been focusing on making changes that keep employees safe and healthy in the workplace.
In this blog, we’re picking up the same topic.
We’ll share our top tips for improving workplace safety in 2023, and reducing accidents, illnesses, and injuries in your workplace for years to come.
Let’s dive in.
What Does Workplace Safety Refer to?
Good workplace safety efforts focus on limiting factors that could cause accidents, harm, or injury to employees and workers.
Examples include policies, precautions, and behaviors meant to reduce risk and cut down on dangerous incidents that might occur in the work environment.
What are the Benefits of a Safe Workplace?
A safe place for work benefits staff and customers alike. In addition to reducing injuries and illnesses that affect workers, a safe workplace also decreases overhead and lost workdays for employers.
Here’s a breakdown of all the ways a safe workplace can be beneficial:
When workers are injured in the workplace, it can result in pain and suffering, loss of income their families rely on, relationship stress, healthcare costs that aren’t covered by insurance, and, in the worst case, death.
With all of that in mind, maintaining a safe workplace boosts worker morale and self-esteem, promotes independence and mental health, and keeps employees strong and healthy enough to do their jobs and contribute to the workplace.
A safe workplace lowers costs associated with injury and illness, reduces turnover and absenteeism, boosts productivity and output, increases employee morale, and reduces overhead.
In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that safe workplaces save $4.00 to $6.00 for every dollar spent on health and safety programs.
Additionally, having a workplace safety protocol in place reduces illness and injury costs by a massive 20%-40%.
Lastly, no employer wants to see their workers getting hurt or sick, so maintaining a safe workplace also protects your peace of mind.
5 Important Workplace Safety Tips for Employees
Workplace safety starts with employees. Here are five work safety ideas for employees:
1. If you see something, say something
Employees who notice unsafe conditions in the workplace should report them immediately.
In addition to decreasing the likelihood of an accident or injury, this allows an employer to assess and resolve unsafe conditions as quickly as possible.
2. Utilize protective equipment
Employers who work in jobs that require personal protective equipment (PPE) should always wear all necessary equipment.
While it’s easy to forget a piece of PPE or choose not to wear an item, doing so can be fatal. Workplaces should have a clear system of PPE assignment to keep workers safe and protected from injury on the job.
3. Maintain a clean workstation
A clean workstation is a safe workstation. There should never be unnecessary items on, near, or in the workstation.
Spills and messes in the workstation should be cleaned up promptly, and slip, trip, and fall hazards should be removed. This tip alone can go a long way to prevent workplace injuries.
According to OSHA, falls cause 35.6% of all workplace deaths. Simply removing slip, trip, and fall hazards will go a long way to prevent injury.
4. Take appropriate breaks
Getting overtired or fatigued in the workplace increases the risk of injury. As such, employees should take shift breaks to rest and recharge throughout the day. Break schedules should be clearly posted and followed by the entire workforce.
5. Follow the protocol
Workers who are in a hurry might skip steps to complete a task faster. This is a sure-fire way to get hurt, though.
Instead, all team members should follow workflow procedures exactly, and avoid skipping steps or using improper equipment in the process.
11 Effective Ways Employers Can Improve Safety in the Workplace
Your employees are doing their part to maintain workplace safety. Now, it’s time to do your part.
Implement the following safety ideas for work if you haven’t done so already:
1. Background check all new hires
Before you hire a new applicant, conduct a background check. Employers that don’t require background checks put their business and employees at risk.
For example, you could hire an employee that looks good on paper, but who has multiple theft or assault charges on his or her criminal record.
Adding someone like that to your workforce may put everyone else in your business at risk.
To protect your other employees and keep your workforce safe, run a background check on every single applicant to whom you extend a conditional offer before you hire them with iprospectcheck’s fast, accurate, affordable, and FCRA-compliant services.
2. Post safety information in a high-visibility place
All your employees should receive regular training on workplace safety. They should also have easy access to your company’s safety policies.
Ideally, you’ll post these policies in a high-visibility area, like the employee breakroom or on the workplace floor. If you’re running a bilingual or multilingual workplace, make sure to provide copies in the language(s) spoken by your workers.
When this information is as clear and accessible as possible, it makes it easier for employees to remember and abide by all relevant safety protocols.
3. Conduct workstation inspections
Many workplace injuries are caused by preventable issues, like slip, trip, and fall hazards. To help your employees avoid these problems, inspect workstations regularly.
Routine inspections allow you to identify safety hazards before someone gets hurt, pinpoint weak spots, and make sure your entire workplace is running smoothly.
4. Onboard occupational clinicians
If you don’t already have occupational clinicians in your organization, it may be time to onboard some.
These clinicians are great resources for everything related to employee health and workplace safety.
They can also work with you and the rest of your team to identify and address workplace hazards, and help you run a safe, healthy workplace.
5. Encourage employees to take breaks
Fatigue, muscle soreness, and burnout are real problems in the workplace. When these things get out of control, injury rates skyrocket.
To manage these variables, encourage breaks for all your employees.
Simple things like routine stretching and scheduled breaks can help reduce injury rates and promote good ergonomics, which have been shown to improve worker wellbeing.
6. Train new employees thoroughly
A new employee’s first few days on a job are especially high-risk.
Employees who are using dangerous equipment or machinery should have comprehensive training, first, and every new hire should know how to uphold the company’s safety standards.
7. Update policies and procedures when new information becomes available
Depending on the industry, new procedures, protocols, and equipment may become available regularly.
When they do, it’s important to update policies and procedures accordingly. All employees should be aware of these updated policies and procedures and should receive additional training, as needed.
8. Reward safe behavior in your workplace
Employees who work safely should be rewarded. Positive reinforcement draws attention to safe workplace practices and encourages other employees to follow suit.
Consider offering a small monetary or physical gift for workers who maintain a great safety record.
9. Hold safety meetings
For your workplace to be safe, everyone must be on the same page. One of the best ways to ensure this is to hold regular safety meetings.
These meetings ensure clear communication within your workplace and allow you to maintain a line between leadership and employees to discuss what’s going right and what could use improvement in terms of your workplace safety.
10. Invest in the proper equipment
Few things are more dangerous than an employee doing his or her job without the correct equipment.
Keep employees safe by investing in the proper tools and equipment, from desks and chairs to machines and factory components. When new equipment becomes available or mandated in your industry, update your items accordingly.
11. Label dangerous items
Anything that is dangerous or potentially hazardous, from cleaning chemicals and supplies to machinery, should be labeled with information regarding hazards and proper procedures for use.
This is a simple step, but it will go a long way toward making your workplace safer for employees.
Improve Workplace Safety with Streamlined Employment Background Checks
Workplace safety is a big consideration for employers everywhere. Fortunately, it’s easy to improve workplace safety management in just a few steps. Start by conducting quality background checks for all new hires.
Here at iprospectcheck, we provide fast, efficient, accurate background check services and license verification services your company can count on to keep your workplace safe.
Contact us today to learn more about our employment screening services and how we can help you.