A safe work environment ought to be one of your top priorities as a small business. This becomes even more important when you operate in a hazardous environment. Remember, as a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of each and every one of your workers. Even in a simple office, accidents can happen. You may think you operate a safe and secure space, but accidents are exactly that: unintentional. You can’t predict them, all you can do is work to prevent them.
If your business operates a factory, a warehouse or a laboratory, this becomes essential. If an employee injures themselves in this environment, it could be life threatening. There may be serious, long term repercussions to deal with. It could have a big impact on the reputation (and the finances) of your business if a lawsuit is filed. When the stakes are this high, safety becomes a top priority. Today we’ll show you how to keep workers safe, even in the most hazardous environments.
First of all, bring in the experts. As a business owner, you are often too close to your own business to spot the hazards. When you operate there day in, day out, you become accustomed to the environment. Professional auditors can come in and assess the safety from an objective viewpoint. They can point out potential hazards you hadn’t been aware of. They can make suggestions and improve the safety performance of equipment and procedures.
Clearly mark hazards
The first step in protecting against hazards is making them clear and obvious. Use caution tape to create clear walkways through any major hazards. Clearly mark anything flammable or toxic. When caution is required on particular machinery or equipment, label it.
When operating hazardous equipment, workers should be well trained in the potential hazards. They should be comfortable and confident working among the hazards. Regular drills and safety procedures should be practiced and perfected. If new equipment is brought in, provide expert training in handling it.
Equip your employees correctly
If there are dangerous procedures and tasks to undertake, make sure they have the tools to do so. More importantly, make sure they have the safety protection necessary. If working in a highly flammable environment, make sure they have a portable gas detector. Provide safety goggles and masks if carrying out work that requires it. Provide durable gloves if working with heavy tools and machinery. Assess what is required in your workplace and provide it.
Finally, instil a culture of communication in the workplace. Make sure workers feel comfortable reporting and identifying hazards when they spot them. As a business owner, it’s your job to speak to them regularly. Find out what they need to do their job better. What could you provide to make them feel safe and secure in their daily work? This will also make them feel valued in the workplace. Suffering in silence will only breed more problems and dangers.
When it comes to the safety of your employees, don’t take any chances. Their safety is your responsibility. Step up your safety controls now!