Workplace Health and Safety Tips for Small Businesses
Small businesses may not have enough resources to employ a full-time safety officer. But this shouldn’t be an excuse to compromise health and safety in the workplace. Safety is crucial, regardless of the size of your business. Good news? You won’t need to have a large, complex program to establish and maintain a strong safety culture in your small business. Below are six tips to secure health and safety in your workplace.
Keep Safety at the Forefront
The management should be consistent in demonstrating the importance of safety in the workplace. An employee will hardly comply with safety requirements if the management isn’t showing any commitment. Ensure to schedule regular safety and toolbox meetings to review certain safety practices or tips. You can use these meetings to address safety in their homes, when driving, when in the streets, and so on. This also includes ensuring provision of the necessary personal protection equipment and access equipment such as step units and scaffolding.
Encourage Safety Awareness
You need to establish a culture where every employee is responsible for their own safety and the safety of others as well. You can do this through the provision of safety rules handouts, monthly articles via emails, or posters placed on strategic places such as changing rooms and resting places. This is a sure way to encourage awareness and hold your workers accountable for compliance with workplace safety. However, you’ll need to ensure visible management support at all times to enhance their safety.
Improve Workplace Ergonomics
Bad posture, heavy lifting and overreaching are some of the factors that could easily result in workplace injuries. You need to minimise these hazards by improving ergonomics in the workplace to keep your employees safe from harm. Provide them with the necessary tools and resources and educate them on proper techniques to get their job done safely. Some of the tools and resources to consider include accessible shelves to minimise strain, mechanical aides such as wheelbarrows and hand trucks to transport heavy objects, and height-adjustable furniture to improve posture and reduce fatigue.
Lack of or insufficient housekeeping is a major concern in most small businesses. This could usually result in slips, trips, and falls. To prevent such and related safety accidents, you need to keep your workplace clean and well organised. Tools and equipment should be cleaned and stored properly, aisles kept clear, electrical cords kept away from pathways. You can appoint someone to conduct weekly or monthly walk-around housekeeping audits.
Organise for Safety Drills
When it comes to workplace safety, it’s always important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Safety drills are essential to ensure proper measures to safely handle different emergencies are in place. It helps every employee understand their role and responsibility in the event of an emergency. It also allows the management to account for everyone in the area during the incident as part of the safety protocol.
Encourage Employees to Report Safety Concerns
You need to empower your workforce to report a potential safety issue without fear of termination, lack of promotion, or other negative consequences. Ensure to act on the concerns to encourage employee involvement in keeping the workplace safe. Although you may not take action for every concern raised, it’s important to let the workers know that their issues were heard and proper measures will be taken.