By: First Union
Workplace Safety Rules & Getting Workers to Follow Them
You can invest a great deal of time and energy into writing workplace safety rules and instructions—as you should. Maintaining the safety of those you employ should be of paramount concern. From pinpointing the risks to educating your team members, the quest to have a safe environment at work is without question a top priority. So in creating safety tips and regulations, how then can you be assured that workers will abide by said rules? Ultimately you need to adopt a comprehensive approach to workplace safety. Below are some steps you can take to implement a plan that makes sense and does indeed help keep personnel safe.
1. What/Where are the Current Risks?
Again, being proactive is everything when it comes to safety. So where are the existing hazards? You need to take the time to identify these risks and then address them head-on. Every industry is going to be susceptible to its own set of risks. While restaurant workers have the potential to slip and fall, for instance, those working in the gas industry deal with more cataclysmic dangers such as explosions. Whatever field/business you happen to be in, be aware of where the risks are and then be sure to note all relevant safety standards and precautions in your plan.
2. What Compliance Standards Pertain to You?
OSHA is the agency tasked with ensuring that companies maintain safe and healthy working conditions. Each industry has its own set of rules by which they must abide lest they are penalized and/or fined in some way—generally, a pretty big way. In the construction field, for instance, OSHA has very specific regulations regarding ladder usage. And the agency does regularly update and change its regulations as more risks are identified and thus a greater need for safety measures arises. Staying compliant with these rules is key. Not only to avoid heavy fines or potentially worse but because it's in the best interests of your workers.
3. Create Detailed Guidelines
We all want to have a workplace that is safe and that promotes an overall healthy company culture. This is why you need to create a detailed safety plan to which everyone at the company has ready access. All job descriptions and the safety responsibilities associated should be made crystal clear in this plan. Some of the components of your safety plan might include the following:
- Emergency action plans
- Electrical safety
- Fire safety measures
- Hazard communication plan
- Respiratory protection requirements
- Relevant excavation safety protocol
- Pathogens exposure plan
Again, it will be critical that all members of your team have a copy of your safety plan. It should also be made available online as well as placed somewhere in the workplace where everyone can access the document.
4. Educating Your Employees
This step is crucial. Writing a comprehensive safety plan is certainly important, but if employees are not trained properly and consequently don't understand how to respond in various situations then no safety plan is going to be very effective. When someone new is hired, they should be required to attend a training session. The key points of any such education should be identifying the risks, being proactive when it comes to accident prevention, and knowing what to do when faced with any type of incident or accident. Posters should highlight the most important components of the safety plan throughout the workplace environment, thus serving as constant reminders.
5. Enforcing Your Safety Plan
The key to a highly effective safety plan is enforcement. All supervisors and managers need to be on board. Beyond training sessions, you should also be performing regular safety audits. If you see areas where there are gaps and weaknesses, then the plan may need to be adjusted accordingly. Look at how many accidents have occurred over a set period. What can you do to lessen that number? Action and enforcement are pivotal to the safety of any environment.
6. There Will Inevitably Be Injuries
Abiding by a solid safety plan is important; however, accidents are going to happen on occasion. So you need to make sure that everyone who works for you is ready and understands exactly what to do in the event something arises. What will take place if someone does get injured? Where will they go? This should all be addressed in the safety plan as well.
If you need additional cash to help you implement more robust safety measures, First Union Lending can certainly help. Our business loan programs make it easy for you to get cash quickly. Call today to see how we might be able to assist your small business.