Many workplaces harbor risks and hazards, from the busiest cargo warehouse to the most elegant offices. These dangers may not be easily observable, but they could lead to accidents, even fatalities. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 4,700 workplace fatalities occurred throughout the country in 2020. Unless you want your workplace to become part of the statistic, you should constantly be trying to improve the safety and comfort of your premises.
Maintaining the health and safety of your employees and colleagues doesn’t just mean holding the occasional wellness seminar. It means constant work and dedication to their protection. Below are a few of the best methods you must employ if you want your workplace to be accident and fatality-free.
Have a Trained Nurse
If your company has more than a dozen employees or if you engage in strenuous physical activity, it is highly encouraged you to have a trained nurse or healthcare provider on retainer. This person need not be a full-time employee, since that could be extremely expensive. Instead, form partnerships with local clinics or doctors, so they can drop into your premises a few hours a week or when there’s an emergency.
If your business is engaged in high-risk activities such as cargo-loading, construction, and the like, you should require at least a handful of people per shift to have gone to classes for EMTs or even basic nurse training. This ensures there is someone who knows what to do in case there is a medical emergency or an accident. Their care and skills could be what save the life of your employee.
When people think of workplace health and safety, they usually think of health protocols, sick leaves, and even fire drills. But their comfort and ease at work is also a huge factor. The science of ergonomics, which concerns itself with how best to ensure the comfort of the human body, has long been a buzzword in office management. Organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have even published entire papers on identifying and eliminating ergonomic hazards. Without the right desk configuration or type of office chairs, your employees run the risk of developing health issues.
For example, if your office chairs are atrocious and don’t give the right lumbar support, they may develop back pain. While this may seem of little concern, they could start being less effective at work or even miss entire days due to the discomfort. Investing in ergonomics will help employees work faster and better, which is a net positive for your business.
Inspections are often treated as the bane of a business but this only applies if your company has been cutting corners excessively. In fact, inspections are necessary if you want your business premises to remain safe during your operating hours. Rather than wait for scheduled inspections from local activities, you should take the initiative and schedule them yourself.
There are many accredited and licensed safety inspectors you could talk to if you want an expert opinion on how to make your company better. Listen to their advice and discuss with these experts the best methods for removing hazards and risks. Preventative actions such as inspections can save your business countless dollars and even help stop needless workplace fatalities.
Obey Fire Codes
The United States has some of the most stringent fire and safety codes for workplaces in the world. This is due to a long history of devastating fires on business premises. Despite the prevalence of fire safety codes and new technology such as smoke alarms and automated sprinkler systems, there are still thousands of workplace fires each year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is an average of 3,000 workplace fires each year.
While a lot of these dangerous conflagrations are due to unforeseeable events, some occur because of serious code violations. Whether these violations are minor or major, companies sometimes literally play with fire because of budget constraints or simple sloppiness. Unless you want your business to literally go up in flames, obey your state and federal fire safety codes to the letter.
Even with the best preparation and the latest preventative strategies, you’ll never know when an adverse event or an accident can occur on your premises. For these reasons, it is essential to constantly prepare your business and your employees. Fire drills, earthquake drills, and preparations for active shooter scenarios may seem excessive right up until they occur. The knowledge and training you take before an emergency is crucial in preventing injuries and even deaths.
Businesses are made of employees and without taking care of their health, safety, and comfort, even the savviest business owner will find it hard to turn a profit. So invest in these concepts, prepare your employees and always keep an eye out for hazards.
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