Safety at workplace is essential for every organization. It is also a right of every employee to work in a safe and secure environment.
A safe workplace contributes to productivity, health and wellbeing of employees.
According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the labour department of the US that there were more than 2 billion workplace injuries and illness occurred at workplace in that year.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure workplace safety and employees should also adhere to standard practices and policies of workplace safety.
Let’s learn what is concept of safety at workplace, what are its benefits and how it can be ensured.
What is Safety at Workplace
Workplace safety is the condition of being free from physical, emotional or other workplace hazards that could cause negative impact on health, well-being and even injury or death.
It is kind of process and system through which organizations reduce those conditions which cause harm, accidents and other work-related injuries and illness.
Benefits of Safety at Workplace
Safety at workplace have certain benefits and that’s is why organizations are nowadays investing and making their workplaces safe and secure.
Key benefits of safety at workplace include:
Reduced accidents and injuries
The risk of accidents and work-related injuries are reduced when proper workplace safety measures are in place. Fewer accidents and injuries mean less time off work, which increases productivity.
In addition, fewer accidents and injuries mean lower workers’ compensation costs for employers.
Productive employees are assets of an organization. Productivity can be enhanced by providing safety at workplace.
When a team work in safe workplace, employees are able to focus on their work without worrying about potential hazards. They can give more output in short time it can also reduce the operational cost of an organization.
When employees feel that their workplace is safe then they would be more comfortable and feel secure in their jobs. They enjoy their work environment and focus on their tasks.
This all results into reduced absenteeism rate of the employees.
A good reputation makes a positive image of an organization. Workplace safety can improve company image and reputation in market and among employees.
A company with a good safety record is viewed positively by general public and is more likely to attract high-quality employees.
How to ensure Safety at Workplace?
Following are the ways and methods which will help to ensure safety at workplace:
1. Provide training on safety procedures
Lack of knowledge, poor skills and improper techniques cause a great risk or an accident. Research reveals that new employees have greater risk of work-related accidents and injuries.
Training on safety procedures is the first and foremost step towards ensuring safety at workplace. Employees must have proper skills and techniques to operate all equipment and machinery safely.
There are a variety of ways to provide employee training on safety procedures, including online courses, in-person classes, and on-the-job training.
2. Use protective equipment and resources
Using protective equipment and resources is another important step that employers can take to improve workplace safety.
Employers should not only provide employees with necessary tools they need to safely perform their job duties but also make it mandatory to use protective equipment’s at workplace.
For instance, there are personal protective equipment (PPE) which is designed specially to meet needs and requirements of safety of employees. These equipments include gloves, head cover, eyewear, shoe cover, clothing, hard hats, face shields, goggles and respirators.
3. Implement safety protocols.
Safety protocols are written procedures that detail how employees should safely perform their job duties.
Employers should also implement safety protocols to help prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.
Some examples of safety protocols that employers can implement include requiring employees to wear protective equipment, prohibiting employees from working alone, and establishing safe work areas.
4. Conduct regular safety audits
Safety audits help to identify potential hazards in the workplace it can also determine the efficiency of your safety programs. Audit can evaluate the effectiveness of existing management controls.
Safety audits in the workplace allow employers to take corrective action to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. Employers can check the safety of equipment during the audit.
5. Place labels and signs
It is important to communicate hazards at workplace. The most common and quickest way to inform employees about the hazards is to use labels and signs of workplace safety.
These labels and signs act as a good reminders and warnings for employees and visitors at workplace.
These signs are usually divided into three broad categories like caution signs, prohibition signs and hazard signs.
These signs and labels should be simple, noticeable and easy to read. But employers must ensure that information given on these signs is consistent with basic safety standards and organizational safety policy.
6. Promote a culture of safety
Culture of safety in the workplace is essential to preventing accidents and injuries. A culture of safety is one in which employees are encouraged to report potential hazards, are aware of the importance of safety, and work together to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.
Employers can promote a culture of safety in the workplace by providing employee training on safety.
7. Encourage employees to report unsafe conditions
Employees must inform their employer about any unsafe condition in the workplace. Employers should encourage employees to report unsafe conditions so that they can be addressed and corrected.
Employers should remove the hazard in the workplace safety and make sure to provide safe and injured free environment to the team.
8. Take breaks
Employees always take their regular break because it helps to them stay alert and focused on their work. Tiredness and fatigue can be reduced by taking frequent breaks.
It also allows them to take a mental break from work and relax for a few minutes. It will help employees to remain focused and fresh.
9. Never take shortcuts on procedures
Employees should never take shortcuts on procedures. Because it increases risk of work-related injuries and illness. It is important to slow down and complete work correctly. Employees should not rush to complete the task and must go through the checklist before going to its end.
Employers should remind employees on regular basis about the short-cuts that can leads to fatal consequences.
10. Maintain Emergency Exits Points
Emergency exists points are made to provide a safe way to evacuate workplace in case of any emergency. These points are important because easy access to these will reduce injuries and causalities during emergency.
These exits should be visible and unblocked by any material, door, equipment and dead-end corridors. Generally, it is recommended to maintain at-least two emergency exit points at any workplace.