One of the major priorities of an organization is making and maintaining a safe working environment. Yet running safety training sessions and putting up a few workplace safety posters for employees once a year is not sufficient.
Your organization needs to actively promote and establish a strong culture of safety, year-round so that safety becomes integrated into your company’s DNA. Aside from making safety one of your company’s main values, it also means taking concrete steps to ensure your employees have a safe work environment.
Here are 7 ways to ensure a safe workplace and foster a strong safety culture
Provide your workers with the proper safety equipment
Make sure that your employees have and use safety equipment and tools and properly maintain them. Workplace signages are also effective project safety tools for promoting injury prevention. Create awareness around machine guarding, proper handling of hazardous materials, and lock-out tag-out.
Eliminate the potential hazards
Keep the workplace free from physical and chemical hazards and make sure it complies with the CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety) standards, rules, and regulations. Don’t forget to remind your employees about proper body mechanics, safe backing, forklift safety, and ways they can avoid slips, trips, and falls. Moreover, only buy machines and equipment such as forklifts from a trusted forklift dealer. Encourage everyone to report potential issues and safety violations and take the fundamental steps to resolve those problems.
Use visual safety aids and messages
Warn your employees of potential hazards by using labels, signs, colour codes, and posters.
You can also place safety posters in all work and recreational areas. Think of creative and unique ways to remind people to always stay safe.
Train all your employees properly
Your organization should provide all employees with safety training using language they can easily understand. This training should include all new workers, with refresher courses offered for existing employees or when workers switch jobs (within the organization).
Introduce Stretch Breaks
Stretch breaks are a great way to enhance employee health and workplace ergonomics. Taking even a few minutes to stretch eases muscle tension and loosens the joints. It also reduces the risk for repetitive motion injuries. Active movements have been proven to be more effective than passive stretching alone.
Establish a safety committee – and organize monthly safety meetings
Create a workplace health and safety committee made up of people from various departments, from your senior management to the entry-level employees. This committee should meet at least once a month and keep everyone informed about inspections, injury and illness statistics, safety topics, and other safety-related issues. You can also invite a resource person like a personal injury lawyer to share some relevant information regarding workplace safety and the law.
Make It Fun and Interactive
An excellent way to incorporate safety into your company culture is to make learning about safety fun. Introduce safety-themed quizzes, trivia, and videos of safety dos and don’ts. Hand out some prizes to encourage people to participate.
By adding a little fun, your employees will stay engaged and become more proactive in preventing accidents.
It’s the company’s responsibility to ensure the health and safety of its employees. If you want to avoid workplace injuries, then make workplace safety an essential aspect of your company’s culture.
You can start by determining the root causes of your most common workplace injuries and surveying your workplace for possible safety hazards in the equipment, tools, and work design. Next, implement the necessary steps to make sure that everything has been done to make the workplace a safe and secure environment.