In the US, there were 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2018, the most recent statistics. Meanwhile, the UK saw 581,000 workers reporting that they’d suffered an injury at work.
This should serve to highlight to all businesses the importance of ensuring workplaces are as safe as possible. Minimising the chances of your co-workers suffering a personal injury should always be a priority.
So how can you make sure you’re doing all you can to keep everyone safe at work?
Know what the risks are
One of the first things to do when trying to maintain safety levels in your workplace is to identify potential hazards. Look at your surroundings and consider what might pose a threat to your co-workers.
After you’ve identified what the risks are, you can start to do something about them to keep everyone safe. Carry out a risk assessment and think about how you can keep potential hazards from causing harm. Mitigating the risks can be as simple as moving a trip hazard away from common walkways, so there’s no reason to put this activity off.
Identify your leaders
It will be hugely beneficial to delegate some of the duties surrounding health and safety in the workplace. Look at your teams and identify those who stand out as leaders. If other workers seem to listen to them, it could be a good idea to appoint them as safety marshals.
They could take on certain responsibilities during emergency drills – and during actual events – and help to keep an eye on the everyday situation in your company. After all, they’re in a great position to gather your workforce’s thoughts on how to make things safer for them.
Invest in training
Training is always going to be necessary to help your team members deal with certain health and safety crises appropriately. Knowledge of first aid, what to do in an emergency and how to maintain safety standards should be something you encourage in your workforce.
Although this will usually come at a cost, it will typically pay for itself when a bigger problem is averted through the quick thinking of someone who’s had the right training. Keeping people safe means ensuring they know how to react in certain situations.
Keep spaces minimal
Minimalism is not just a design choice – it can also have a real effect on the safety of your workplace. The principle encourages keeping work environments neat and tidy to reduce the chances of any stray objects presenting a risk to workers. Think trailing cables and boxes.
It also encourages workers to clean up any spills and messes they make straight away to reduce the chance of anyone slipping or coming into contact with hazardous chemicals or substances. Make sure everyone knows the importance of adhering to these rules and how their actions can have an impact on their co-workers.
Getting everyone to work together is one of the keys to keeping everyone safe.