Although National Safety Month doesn’t officially begin until June, there’s no harm in preparing early to make the most of this important awareness-raising period. In reality, safety should be a top priority all year. However, the National Safety Council has made it easy for homeowners and business owners everywhere to apply crucial safety principles by dividing them into four themes—one for each week. The following will act as a helpful guide for your company to prepare for each week.
1. Preventing slips, trips and falls
Accidents on the job can threaten the health and well-being of your employees and cost your company a burdensome amount of money from lawsuits, workers’ compensation and other related fees. Make sure your business environment is as accident-free as possible by having an Occupational Safety and Health Administration professional inspect your flooring. Make sure all employees have proper footwear, and be sure everyone is well-trained on how to respond when a spill occurs. Emphasize the importance of organization in the workplace, since objects in the walkway of employees could cause serious falls.
2. Employee wellness
Every business owner wants his employees to work in a safe and health-friendly environment. This improves their sense of well-being and enhances productivity. One effective way to do this is to replace unhealthy vending machine options with healthier alternatives to encourage more healthful snacking. Provide incentives for employees to exercise by organizing a lunch break walking program and offering gym membership discounts.
3. Emergency preparedness
It’s impossible to predict an emergency, but it’s not impossible to prepare for it. Always have an extensive first aid kid on hand for quick responses to injuries, and make sure to have fire protection equipment available to limit the damage if a fire were to break out. Conduct a fire drill with your employees to make sure they all know what to do in the event of a fire. If possible, have a panic button installed in case of a robbery, so you can quickly contact the police.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services defines ergonomics as “the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to employee capabilities.” One basic application of this rule is having the employees who are physically strongest handle more demanding physical labor. Allow employees to comfortably perform their work in a number of different positions, since staying in one place for an extended period of time can cause muscle fatigue, which makes employees more vulnerable to injury.
Illustrate your commitment to workplace safety by holding regular meetings that reinforce the rules above. Keep up with any new regulations and suggestions from the U.S. Department of Labor to make sure your workplace is up to date. Starting now will put you well ahead of the curve come June, and will make it easier to continue applying these principles year-round.