Workplace safety doesn’t really have to be complicated – listed below are a few tips to make workplaces safer and healthier for workers.
The rights to work in healthy and safe environment have been given to the employee by law and cannot be changed or removed by the employer. Small businesses, which must take out workers compensation insurance, can introduce simple safety measures to reduce the chances of injury and ill-health.
- Safety gear
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Fire extinguishers
- Electrical safety
- First Aid
- Strict rules
- Reduce work stress
- Sick leave
Workers safety should be every business’ motto. All employers should aim for their employees to be safe and to carry out their tasks with utmost safety. Therefore, it is important that employees follow safety rules and guidelines. Employees should at all times (when working) wear the protective equipment to suit the task. It can be to the employer’s benefit to provide workers with appropriate safety gear. Employees should be aware of the particular hazards of their job, be cautious and take steps to reduce the risk of injury at work.
Employers must take up workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation is insurance cover providing medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who get injured at work. The insurance is taken to compensate the employee for injuries sustained.
Businesses face huge potential losses due to fire. It is therefore important for employers to ensure that functioning extinguishers are in place and clearly marked.
Electrical short circuits are a primary cause of fire in business premises so employers should ensure that sockets, plugs and switches are in a good condition, floors are clear of unnecessary wires etc and that safety switches are hardwired into electrical switchboards for safety.
Companies should ensure that sufficient employees are versed with the basics of first aid, so that they can help each other in case of injury or illness. A first aid box should be kept in the work area and workers should know how and what to use when needed.
Employers should have strict working rules; workers should not be allowed inside the work area when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drugs and alcohol contribute to almost 3 percent of workplace fatalities.
Work stress and work pressure are two separate things, while the latter is often necessary in a business for workers (to perform better). Work stress because of peer conflicts, workers and employee conflicts etc can cause illness. Friendly & consultative work practices can minimise work stress.
Finally, legitimately sick workers should take sick leave. Sick workers playing the martyr can have negative effects by prolonging their own recovery and exposing more workers to illness.