Now more than ever, there’s a pressing need to make sure that the work environment, especially for people working in production buildings and major warehouses, is as safe as possible.
According to Safe Work Australia, the Australian economy loses around $60 billion each year due to work-related injuries. That represents almost 5% of Australia’s gross domestic product. This not only hampers the productivity of the business, but it also makes it harder for workers to financially cope with their injuries.
If you want to safeguard your employees and increase productivity, it’s an excellent strategy to invest in creating a safe work environment.
Important Steps in Building a Safe and Secure Work Environment
As the person who manages the environment in the workplace, you must make sure that proper measures are in place to boost workplace safety and security. Here are some of the most vital steps you should take to create a safer work environment:
· Make sure that you attain commitment from management.
No matter how committed you are, your policies and plans still require a solid commitment from the people at the top. Employees feel much more at ease when they see their leaders buying into the introduction of proper safeguards (policies, guidelines, safety mechanisms) in the workplace. Employees will even go the extra mile to protect themselves and the people around them if they constantly see their workplace implementing these rules consistently.
· Assess the culture in the workplace.
To create effective safety policies and guidelines in the workplace, it is essential to first assess the culture in the workplace – from management decisions to employee behaviour.
Do you think there’s enough commitment from leaders when investing in safety mechanisms in the workplace? Do leaders adhere to the rules they set, or are they not setting good examples for employees? Do employees observe the existing safety rules and regulations in the workplace, or do they take shortcuts on safety all in the name of deadlines?
These are the questions you can ask before creating policies on workplace safety. Once you’ve looked at the details individually, you will begin to understand workplace culture as a whole. Only then should you begin to draft accurate and effective policies that will affect the culture of safety in the workplace.
· Enforce safety policies and guidelines in the workplace.
Make sure that everyone knows what to do to maintain safety in the workplace. There must be an active effort not just in creating policies and regulations regarding safety, but also in disseminating those policies effectively.
There are numerous ways to effectively disseminate policies and guidelines in the workplace. Firstly, each department can hold briefings so that team leaders can explain the company safety policy and answer questions from team members.
Businesses can email newsletters to workers regarding the most relevant part of the policies. Constant reminders are possible with signage around the workplace to remind people of the safety mechanisms in certain areas.
Involve your employees when creating rules, regulations, and finding the best equipment for the workplace.
As you create systems for workplace safety try to involve the employees when making decisions regarding policies. While there are people who follow the rules regardless if they took part in making it or not, some will more likely buy into such rules and regulations if they have participated in it.
You should make sure, however, to ask key individuals what they think about policy development and safety equipment acquisition.
Apart from consulting key personnel, you can conduct surveys and ask for suggestions that way, you can get feedback from a broader range of employees.
· Invest in proper safety equipment for your employees.
Creating and disseminating policies are one thing, but having the proper equipment is essential. Make sure that equipment your employees use is functioning safely. You also have to provide all safety equipment needed such as helmets, jackets, uniforms, and safety goggles.
Ensure too that staff know when to wear their PPE. Make reminders clear and constant about the use of their PPE and this may lead to behaviours becoming second nature as they carry out their duties.
· Train your employees properly when it comes to handling equipment and doing proper safety procedures.
No matter how detailed your policy is, training personnel is still imperative. The first item hazard assessment inspectors will ask to see is training documentation.
As a person holding a leadership position in the workplace, you should be able to pinpoint who needs what type of training. You should also determine what areas may require additional training based on both your hazard assessment and the standards of regulatory bodies.
Also, training isn’t something that you do once and never again. Training should be constant, as industry practices may change.
· Give incentives to workers who follow workplace guidelines properly.
There’s no better way to motivate employees to follow workplace safety protocols than to provide incentives for doing a good job. However, you should take care when making incentive programs relating to workplace safety.
There are regulating bodies that may look unfavourably upon some incentives since staff may start to hide workplace-related injuries to get access to incentives.
Some things you should reward could include wearing proper gear or doing their assigned tasks efficiently without incident.
Overall, upholding a safe environment and giving top priority to their safety should be part of their scope of work and ideally, ingrained within the culture of the workplace itself.
· Do proper housekeeping when maintaining your safety programs and regulations.
Once your program is up and running, check and see how it affects the entire workplace. Does it make production more efficient, or does it hamper worker productivity? Are your policies effective, or do they need further review.
If there are fire hazards, environmental hazards, or other safety hazards that are identified, now is the time to make the necessary housekeeping changes.
By continually assessing your environement, you can make sure you’re always updated on the current status of safety in your workplace.
Invest in safety equipment that will improve and streamline your workplace.
Apart from providing updated work equipment and safety accessories to your employees, you should also invest in safety equipment for your workplace.
This not only boosts safety at work but also increases operational efficiency.
For example, when creating pathways and barriers in the warehouse, you can install railings in your desired locations. Railings not only increase the safety of pedestrians in the workplace but can manage traffic as well. In order to block access to areas and protect emergency exists from vehicle traffic, you can install bollards too. They can be lockable, removable, and are easy to use. Overhead door protectors can limit damage from forklifts.
There are various types of safety equipment you can install in your workplace to improve efficiency. Whether you’re working in loading docks, freight terminals, warehouses, production areas, the food industry, or even hospitals, safety equipment can improve worker safety.
Why is Workplace Safety Important?
Here are some of the reasons why workplace safety should be a top priority:
· It reduces stress in the workplace.
Nothing makes people feel more on edge than seeing co-workers injured at work. Not only does this increase their stress levels, but it also makes them less motivated. They may think their employers do not care about their safety, and this may directly affect productivity as well. Therefore, to lessen tension in the workplace, having well-established safety protocols is a must.
· There will be less damage to your industrial equipment.
Workplace-related accidents often involve industrial equipment that may have been improperly handled. When workplace-related injuries occur, it not only affects your workers, but it may damage equipment as well. These pieces of industrial equipment often cost a considerable amount of money, so it’s better to protect these assets bu introducing safety protocols and instructions.
There will be fewer investigations regarding safety in the workplace.
If your business often reports work-related accidents, then it might cause suspicion from regulating bodies that will visit your site or premises to assess the safety.
Prevent a temporary slow down or even closure of the premises by upholding safety in the workplace.
As much as possible, make sure you have suitable equipment and policies in place to make your workplace is safe and secure.
Get your safety equipment and accessories from Verge Safety Barriers now.
Now that the importance of workplace safety has been covered, it’s time to invest in proper and durable safety equipment from a trusted supplier. Verge Safety Barriers is one of the premium suppliers of safety equipment and barriers in Australia.
With years of experience in the industry and many satisfied clients, you can rely on Verge Safety Barriers to provide a safety solution for your project or workplace. Contact Verge Safety Barriers now on 1800 765 539 for enquiries.