No matter how many staff members you’re responsible for, it’s important that safety is always provided to each and every one of them. Depending on the type of workplace, there may be different rules and regulations that you need in place in order for a safer working environment. However, there are some general tips that apply to all working environments when it comes to keeping staff safe in the workplace.
Have A Policy In Place
For managing the safety of others, it’s good to have some formal document in place that outlines the requirements to work safely. This will vary in content when it comes to the type of working environment the business is, for example, a building site’s safety policy is going to be a lot more extensive than a small office one. If you’ve not got a policy in place and need inspiration on what to include, here are a few things that are common in such a document:
- A statement that talks about the general safety of the workplace.
- A responsibility section, who is responsible for certain areas of the building and those who are trained in first aid.
- Suggestions and ways to improve safety in the event of X and Y happening. Using typical scenarios and what processes to follow.
Keep Areas Free Of Clutter
A messy space is not going to work well in a busy office, full of staff walking back and forth. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down with paperwork, and there’s always a point in the year that the desk space or office may become a little cluttered. However, it’s good to keep on top of this clutter because it can end up becoming a hazard if ignored. Encourage staff to take ownership of their own space and have your operations team or individuals in charge of the building to go around on a regular basis to check everything in the office is functioning well and that nothing has become broken or is causing a potential risk for employees in the office.
If your office space is clearly suffering from a lack of storage, then you may want to invest a budget into providing some office furniture to reduce the amount of clutter. It might also be worth reducing the amount of paper you print by going digital. This will also reduce the amount of storage that is taken up by files, and it will also save you money as a business.
Have The Occasional Drill Practice
In the event of a fire or any type of threat to staff’s lives, it’s important to have the occasional drill practice every now and again. Especially as staff come and go over the course of a year, it’s good to educate every staff on how the building operates and what the best routes are out of the building. Fire drills are the most common, and it’s good to have the meeting point noted in the safety policy or as a separate document that’s displayed throughout the office. However, in recent years there are other types of drills that are worth going through. One being in the event of a terrorist attack, which is especially important if you work in a city or a place that has experienced terror attacks previously. It’s a scary thought, but it’s worth it to do this training.
Equip Yourself With First Aiders
In the event of an accident or emergency where someone requires medical assistance, the sooner someone can be treated, the better. That’s why it’s very useful to have staff that is trained in first aid so that they’re able to provide medical assistance while waiting for emergency responders. This immediate medical assistance could be the difference between a life being saved. Depending on your office size, you will likely want 2-3 first aiders for each floor, perhaps more if there’s a lot of staff per floor. Always ask someone if they’d like to take part in doing a first aid course because it does require a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, should the emergency arise and some people might not want that. Make sure you factor in any refresher courses that should be done a few years after the initial training and encourage staff to remind themselves of the training, so they don’t forget it.
Get All The Relevant Insurance
As a workplace, you have a significant responsibility to ensure all staff members are given the right protection when it comes to being insured. So it’s important that as a company, you take out all the relevant insurance that protects both you as the employer and the staff. Making sure you have a personal injury attorney or lawyers in place to handle accidents in the workplace is necessary. There are standard insurances that you should have in place, specifically one to protect the company if an accident should happen during working hours.
Have Regular Staff Meetings
Having regular staff meetings can come in handy when promoting workplace safety. It’s a good way of building relationships with your staff so that they are more likely to look out for hazards within the workplace and therefore flag them to the relevant staff member should it need attention. These staff meetings are also a good time to make staff aware of anything new happening in the building in regards to health and safety. Having communication in place when it comes to spotting hazards is certainly going to come in handy because not all problems can be spotted by your operations team.
Keeping your staff safe in the workplace should come as a top priority, so ensure that you have the policies and insurance in place to cover all aspects. Make sure to do regular drill practices so that all staff knows what to do in an emergency and train up as many staff as you can to do first aid. Freeing all areas from clutter is going to prevent any tripping hazards and will ensure a clean and presentable working environment.