Creating a safe environment is important in the workplace for several reasons. Of course, you don’t want your employees or others who are on your work site to come to any harm. In addition, accidents can be costly, and if they are connected to safety violations, they can also lead to fines. Furthermore, if employees are frequently injured on the job, you may start to run into problems keeping workers.
Turnover can be costly and can damage employee morale. However, caring about safety isn’t enough; you need to know how to implement conditions throughout your workplace that will prevent accidents and injuries. Below are three common mistakes that often lead to workplaces being more hazardous than they need to be and things you can do to avoid them.
Running a business always involves balancing competing priorities to some extent. You want to keep costs low, but you don’t want to make the mistake of refusing to spend when it would make you more efficient in the long run. To prevent accidents at work, you might need to purchase better equipment. Stay on top of industry standards, see what other companies are doing, and talk to your employees about what they need.
If your fleet manager comes to you and says vehicle camera systems would increase safety, do the research to find out what is available to you. You’ll find that they have been proven to increase safety for drivers, which means lower costs overall. You can find out more about commercial vehicle cameras and the various features included, such as HD video, distracted driving detection and night vision, to help you choose what’s right for your company. Understand that your employees may see what their needs are on the ground in a way that is not as obvious to you.
Most companies hire a safety manager or have a safety training component during new employee orientation. However, all too often, this is the only safety training that workers receive. While dragging your workers into training too often might induce frustration, you do need to reinforce those trainings a few times throughout the year. In addition, practices may change and improve, and when this is the case, employees need to be informed. You can also make company policy and procedures easily accessible to everyone.
All the time and monetary commitments to safety in the world won’t do any good if you create an atmosphere in which people are afraid to report safety violations or to take the extra steps that they need to prevent injuries and accidents. Create a top-down culture of workplace safety, always demonstrating good practices yourself and ensuring that your managers do as well. Make it clear that this is a priority and that if work needs to slow down temporarily so that conditions can be made less hazardous, that slowing should happen. You could also create incentives to increase best practices, such as offering rewards when the company is accident-free for a certain period of time.