Here are 5 approaches that any business owner can adopt to reduce the risk of worker injuries without adding prohibitive cost.
1. Hire Safety-Oriented Individuals
When sales exceed production capacity, some owners might be tempted to make a quick hire. But employers would be wise to consider the risk associated with hiring an incompetent worker – someone who is far more likely to become injured. Instead, carefully screen candidates to ensure that they have the skills and experience it takes to be successful — and work safely. Further, find leaders within your team. These individuals can serve as captains to help coordinate and take additional responsibility in case of an emergency. Make workplace security a team effort.
2. Train for Safety
Even a highly skilled and experienced worker should be given instruction to meet your expectations of how the job will be done. If you know certain techniques that can make doing a certain job safer, be sure to share them with your workers. Counting on common sense to keep workers safe is a recipe for disaster. Common sense isn’t always common practice. By paying closer attention to unusual or suspicious behavior and challenging it, you can improve insight into safety. Don’t be afraid to inquire or report, and make sure you’re people aren’t afraid either. Be polite but assertive in challenging anyone acting unusual.
3. Demand the Job Be Done Safely
Begin by believing there’s always time to do things safely and it’s never acceptable to work unsafely. Then practice what you preach. If you praise members of your A team as those who get the job done with whatever it takes, you may be inadvertently fostering a culture that devalues safety. Choosing productivity over safety sends the wrong message to your workers. You want workers to share your vision of a safe workplace and be engaged and active in making that happen. Workers will support your vision only if they believe it’s real. Consider recognizing staffers who offer suggestions for working safely. Be careful to not provide incentives for achieving zero injuries because that will essentially be rewarding zero reporting, which may increase the risk of injuries. Looking for more ways to prevent injury in the workplace? Check out 4 Ways to Prevent Workplace Injury : https://n-o-v-a.com/blog/4-basic-ways-to-prevent-workplace-injury/
4. Plan & Practice
Make sure every employee understands what needs to happen should there be a crisis, whether by a violent person or a natural disaster. A written plan of action should be included in your policies and procedures manual. It is a good idea to vet this plan with your legal counsel. It isn’t enough to have a plan others can’t implement. Every quarter or at least every six months, alert your employees to a drill and practice it so people know what to do and where to go in case of specific emergencies.
5. Sometimes, There is More than One Right Answer
Too often employers see safety as an absolute — either a job is safe or not — when the truth is safety is relative. No job is absolutely without risk and therefore completely safe. But there are ways to approach a job to make it safer. Conversely, no job is completely unsafe. There may be more than one right answer, but there are definite wrong ways to do things.
Nova Medical Centers cares about your employees. With offices in Texas, Tennessee, and Georgia, we look to help your company get the best occupational health services and improve worker satisfaction and safety. Contact us to learn more about our services to help maximize employee health and productivity.