Your employees are the greatest investment in your business. They carry out tasks that founders and managers can’t perform alone, they identify and solve problems, and they are ultimately the reason any company moves forward.
Employees are also human beings. They deserve to be treated fairly and to work in a safe environment. Consequently, companies should do everything possible to protect their workforce from physical and mental harm. How can this be done?
Read on to learn 5 ways you can improve health and safety in the workplace.
1. Look for Warning Signs of Declining Health
Employees are at a much higher risk of injury when they don’t feel well, mentally and/or physically. Although not all businesses involve heavy machinery, sharp objects, or other hazardous materials, every business owner and manager should keep an eye out for symptoms of mental and physical distress in their team members.
Warning signs of health issues may include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Symptoms of physical illness (coughing, sneezing, etc.)
- Anger or irritability
Encourage managers and employees to look out for each other, and help them report health concerns in a safe and confidential way.
2. Train Employees Thoroughly
Although making mistakes is human and inevitable, no avoidable mistake should ever lead to a workplace injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that untrained workers are at the highest risk of getting hurt on the job. Don’t let your employees fall into this category!
If your business involves dangerous equipment or materials, it should be the utmost priority to create or improve systems for proper training. Have managers follow up with employees to ensure they are correctly practicing what they have learned. Encourage managers to provide prompt and fair feedback as well.
3. Encourage Breaks
According to a recent survey, guilt is the main reason employees avoid taking breaks. Guilt is often a byproduct of a work culture that looks down on self-care, whether it’s implied or outright stated to employees.
In workplaces where labor is physically demanding, not taking breaks is a direct path to avoidable injuries. Teach your team members to listen to their bodies so they know when they’ve reached a stopping point. Hire managers who encourage their teams to take an appropriate amount of breaks, so everyone can do their best work safely.
And remember, even office employees who sit most of the workday need time away from their screens!
4. Keep a Visible List of Hazards and Risks
For some employees, the list of workplace dangers may seem obvious. As an employer or manager, however, it would be unwise to assume that every employee is aware of every risk.
Transparency and awareness are crucial to a safe work environment. Maintain an accurate, updated list of hazards and risks and have managers review it periodically with their teams.
Hazard lists should be posted where everyone can easily find them. If an employee has any form of disability that would prevent them from accessing and reviewing this list, be aware of those limitations and accommodate them.
5. Create a Safe Space for Employees to Share Their Concerns
When it comes to health and safety, your company can’t afford to be unaware of the problems your people are encountering.
Employee satisfaction surveys and feedback collection boxes are some effective tools for anonymously gathering employees’ opinions. Pay special attention to patterns. If several people report the same problem, resolving it should become a top concern for management.
Strive to hire managers and employees who are respectful of each other and are willing to consider opinions they disagree with. When communication within the company is healthy, employees will be more willing to share their concerns.
One More Option for Better Health and Safety
For additional help maintaining workplace health and safety, contact us at Bluewater Properties! We are a full-service Real Estate company located in historic Northfield, Minnesota.
Bluewater Properties specializes in Property Management, Association Management, Brokerage, Leasing, Development, Investment, and Consulting. We can help your business provide the safest and most productive environment for your employees while providing numerous other services, should you need them.
Contact us via phone at 507-646-4023, or email email@example.com to get started!