By definition, a workplace accident is unpredictable. You never know when one might happen, but when it does, it can mean serious consequences for both you and your employee. For that reason, accident-proofing your workplace is one of the most prudent things any employer can do. It’s an initiative that all of your workers can get behind.
Some of the best ways to protect you and your employees from accidents include:
- Slowing down
- Providing free caffeine
- Regularly reviewing safety guidelines
- Keeping workspaces clean
- Conducting emergency drills
Telling your employees to work at a slower pace may seem absolutely ludicrous, especially if you are trying to hit sales targets for the month. However, it might be one of the best managerial decisions you make in terms of preventing accidents.
Often, employees that frequently use dangerous machines become inured to risks, especially if they have held a position for a long time without sustaining an injury. However, all it takes is one thoughtless moment, or one task completed too quickly, to bring about a disaster. When you instruct your employees to slow down, you:
- Decrease Chance of Injury: The slower and more calculated an employee’s movements, the lower the chance they will make a serious mistake.
- Potentially Improve Quality of Product: You can make it clear to your employees that they should be exchanging speed for quality.
Provide Free Caffeine
One of the first things any safety officer will tell you is that most workplace injuries happen when employees are sleepy or tired. Sleepiness compromises your ability to think critically, decreases your reaction time, and makes you much more prone to making careless errors. Enter coffee.
Offering free coffee, or any other caffeinated drinks like Red Bull or Monster Energy, will both feel like a perk and keep your employees focused for longer hours. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your workers, and will go a long way toward preventing accidents from occurring.
Review Safety Guidelines
In many work environments, the only time employees will hear a safety seminar is when they are hired or onboarded. That means they have only been given one opportunity to hear and fully internalize the safety precautions of your specific job site.
If that sounds like your work environment, you should consider convening with your workers regularly to review safety guidelines, or to offer incentives for workers who take training courses which decrease the chances they will injure themselves.
Keep Work Spaces Clean
An errant wire, a misplaced box, or a spill that took a few minutes too long to wipe up are all possible culprits in a workplace accident. Reminding workers to clean up after themselves, and hiring a janitor to both sweep up and tidy hazardous work areas, are two of the best casualty solutions that can prevent incidents from occurring around any jobsite.
Conduct Emergency Drills
When we think about accidents, we imagine a one-off incident happening at a random time. However, in the course of an emergency, the chance for accidents to happen only increases. In all the chaos and commotion that can occur during a fire or natural disaster, it’s likely that employees will make unwise decisions that end up causing more harm to themselves or others than would have otherwise occurred.
Drills should be conducted for:
- Active shooters
During an emergency, the last thing you want to do is make decisions. That’s why we conduct emergency drills: to know exactly what to do in case something goes wrong, allowing us to act confidently even if our adrenaline is pumping and our ability to think critically has totally vanished. If you haven’t conducted emergency drills in your workplace, consider changing that immediately.
Provide Appropriate Work Tools
If want your business to be successful while minimizing the chance of accidents, you should make sure your employees don’t have to struggle to complete their tasks. For example, if heavy lifting is required, supply helpful machines. This will vastly decrease the chance of physical injury.
The key to mitigating accidents in the workplace is diligence. If you’re diligently reviewing safety materials, providing caffeine, conducting drills, and keeping your workspaces clean, the odds that something bad will happen are drastically decreased. By following these six steps, you will be going a long way to protect both yourself and your employees.