Invest in Safety Measures Now to Protect Your Profits in the Future
If you and your employees mostly push paper and pound keyboards, you may think your business is immune to safety hazards. If that’s what you’re thinking, think again.
Workplace injuries can be expensive, even in office-based businesses, sometimes requiring thousands of dollars for direct costs such as medical care, property loss, and litigation. Indirect costs, such as lost productivity and disrupted customer service, can boost those losses even higher.
For the most part, though, workplace injuries are avoidable. By focusing on preventing injuries and ensuring workplace safety, you can make your place of business a healthier one for yourself and your employees. In the process, you’ll also protect your company’s bottom line.
Workplace safety hazards vary depending upon where in the world you are located and the type of business you’re in. If your company is involved with manufacturing or construction, for example, workplace safety will likely be highly regulated and monitored by governmental agencies.
But even office-based workplaces offer their share of safety hazards. What safety hazards should you watch out for in your company’s office?
- Falls are one of the chief ways that people injure themselves at work. Eliminate trip hazards and keep this type of injury to a minimum.
- Ensure that electrical sockets and power cords are not defective or damaged, and use extension cords only as a temporary solution.
- Make good housekeeping a habit. Not only is clutter unsightly, it can also make your workplace less safe by blocking exits, creating fire hazards, and attracting pests. Encourage good housekeeping by giving employees a set time every week to clear clutter from their own desktops and work spaces. As an added bonus, a set time when all employees pitch in to clean their work areas can also become a regular occasion for building camaraderie and encouraging teamwork.
- Store cleaning supplies in a location all their own. Some products that are routinely used for cleaning are flammable or toxic. Store them safely out of the way when they’re not being used.
- Keep emergency exits free and clear, and make sure that everyone knows where these exits are located.
- Drug test your workers. When an employee’s judgment and coordination are impaired by drugs and alcohol, injuries are much more likely to occur. In addition, productivity and customer service are bound to suffer as well.
- When employees are frustrated by work stations that cause them physical discomfort, they can’t possibly perform at their optimum level. So if you really want to improve worker productivity, you can’t go wrong by providing ergonomic solutions that help employees avoid repetitive movements and practice better posture on the job.
- Keep emotional stress to a minimum. Overly long hours with few breaks, as well as job insecurity and conflicts with managers and coworkers, can affect productivity. Take steps to ensure that everyone feels emotionally healthy on the job and watch your profits rise.
- Marijuana hair test your workers and further ensure the safety and emotional health of your office workers by testing job candidates for drugs and alcohol use during the hiring process.
Have a Plan and Train Employees to Follow It
Once you’ve identified the hazards, put some policies and procedures in place to ensure that your workplace becomes and remains a safe place. Then, make sure that all of your employees know and comply with those policies and procedures. Further, ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of fire or a natural disaster.
Set a Good Example
This may sound obvious, but it counts for a lot: Follow your own safety rules. You’re the leader of your organization, after all, in this as in every other way. While you’re at it, make it easy for employees to report safety hazards when they notice them.
How Will Your Business Benefit?
On average, adult workers around the world spend roughly a third of their total waking hours on the job. They have a right to expect that their safety will be taken into consideration while they are there. What’s more, your employees are your most important asset, and it’s to your benefit as well theirs that you provide them with a safe place in which to do the jobs you’ve hired them to do.
But you and your business will benefit in other ways as well. When you take steps to improve safety in your workplace, not only will your spending decrease for obvious safety-related expenses such as healthcare and legal costs, but also your company will enjoy improved productivity and better financial performance overall.