Ways to Improve Health and Safety Standards in the Workplace

Updated on March 9, 2022

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When it comes to the workplace, you can’t ignore safety concerns. Employees can be highly vulnerable when they’re working in various settings. Whether the work they’re doing requires physical labor or keeps them in one place for several hours, their health can deteriorate immensely. 

Employees experiencing an injury or fall sick on the job may cost a company a substantial amount of money and become a liability. If they show up ill, they may infect other workers, and if they’re injured, their workload may overwork the existing staff. 

Therefore, for any company, productivity has its place but so should worker safety. Following standard protocols and best practices will also the company will flourish. So, here some ways to work on making sure that everyone is safe and healthy:

Encourage Paid Sick Leaves

One of the reasons why workers don’t take time off when they’re ill is paycheck cuts. Conventional workplaces don’t offer sick days, and employees don’t have the liberty to use their paid holidays. Consequently, sick employees show up to work, jeopardizing their health and the team. If companies start looking into arranging paid sick leaves, it will benefit employees in numerous ways. Not only will they get an opportunity to rest, but they may also use these days to seek proper care and treatment. Healthy and happy employees are much better for the workplace environment. 

Put Labels and Signs

If the workplace has hazards such as a narrow staircase or harmful chemicals present, there must be warning signs in place. In this regard, if you’re wondering what does an industrial hygienist do? In short, these professionals ensure that the workplace is safe to use. It is essential because by following standard protocols, companies can avoid multiple accidents at work. A business can also extend workplace safety by providing employees with machinery and equipment that can help them do work efficiently and effectively. Such as a forklift to carry heavy loads, safety hats available at work stations, and protective gear for chemicals. It is not worth saving money if it means endangering workers’ health. A health and safety consultant can evaluate your workplace and conduct a risk assessment to ensure you don’t miss any hazards.

Ensure Workspaces Are Clean

While working, an office can get quite messy. There can be papers lying around, wires hanging dangerously, insulated wiring, power tools out of place. It’s not unusual for workspaces to get messy while employees work, but companies can remedy that. They can add it to the manager’s list of responsibilities to ensure that workspaces remain clean and organized at all times. 

If the job is physically more demanding, such as being on a construction site, there needs to be a person in charge, ensuring that as the work proceeds, employees always remain safe. Such as making sure the helmets are not damaged. If these measures are not in place, it doesn’t take long for any employee to trip and fall and get injured.

Inspect Tools and Gadgets 

There needs to be an inspection every quarter or, in some cases, an annual basis for different tools and equipment. It is to ensure anything employees use is safe and doesn’t need replacement. Power tools, in general, need this inspection the most. If they’re old, withered, and rusted, they do more damage than good. It means an employee has to use the tool more aggressively and injure themselves, or the tool is hard to control. Companies should also look into office furniture. Does the employee seating offer back support, or is it damaging their spine more? When a company makes health and safety their priority, they are ensuring to have more productive days. 

Encourage Employees to Take Breaks

It is easy to get so involved in work that employees may forget to take breaks. In some cases, employees can’t afford to take breaks because of the pending deadlines. Companies need to step in and create a culture that encourages employees to rest in between work. Whether employees need a nap, want to stretch, or go for a walk, there should be no stopping them. For workers who have physically strenuous work, they need to have more breaks. These employees need exercises and techniques to release tension and work on aching muscles during these breaks. 

Create a Safety Manual

Not everyone knows all the safety precautions at their fingertips. Suppose a company doesn’t emphasize safety measures. In that case, there is a high chance that employees may panic or hurt themselves further during emergencies. Creating a safety manual ensures a first aid kit with a comprehensive guide at the workplace. It ensures that when an employee needs to treat an injury, they know how to provide proper care. A safety manual should cover all essential details, from emergency exits to safely storing and using the equipment. Employees should also be provided with a refresher course after every quarter not to forget safety basics. 

Look Into Occupational Medical Clinics 

Occupational medical clinics operate for different professions. These clinics help prevent workplace injuries and guide employees on better safety measures. If a company partners with an occupational medical clinic, they can access their resources, such as a physical therapist who can provide care to all the employees. These medical clinics can also carry out physical evaluations to ensure employees are functioning at maximum capacity. It not only keeps employees safe but provides services such as immediate hospitalization or at risk of contracting a disease.

Keep an Open Dialogue

Employers can remedy the barrier between them and the employees by keeping an open dialogue culture. They should listen to what employees have to say about their work, including how effectively they find the current measures in place. Also, allowing employees to speak up informs a company more on what employees want. Maybe the workers are struggling more mentally than physically. It is the kind of information only a worker can tell their bosses. If employees need mental health aid, then companies can start looking into getting counselors on the job. So, the only way there can be a fruitful and informative discussion is when there is open dialoguing between employees and their bosses. 

Wrap Up

Employee safety should be a priority. A healthy workforce keeps the wheels of a business running. However, companies that only focus on productivity while ignoring employee health encounter more problems than profit. When an employee is sick or injured, the schedule gets pushed back, or the entire workforce may get sick. Therefore, with a few safety measures in place, organizations can ensure workers are safe and healthy at all times. It includes ensuring they’re safely using equipment, keeping an eye on their mental and physical health, and educating them on safety protocols. Only when a company and an employee work hand in hand can help businesses bloom.

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