Organizations have a lot of responsibilities besides generating profits, and one of the core ones is to ensure and improve employee health and safety within their premises. This helps not only to reduce workplace safety incidents, prevent hefty OSHA fines and violations, but also improve productivity, enhance employee retention, and boost the bottom line. However, even when organizations have the best intentions, they might not be able to ensure workplace safety properly as there are a number of external factors in play.
That being said, let’s take a closer look at some practices safety professionals and employers can follow in order to improve safety in the workplace.
How do organizations ensure health and safety at work?
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach while dealing with workplace safety, as different organizations (as well as industries) have vastly different requirements, working conditions, and hazards. For instance, an accounting firm won’t have the same workplace hazards that a construction firm has, which might be again different for chemical manufacturing plants. However, the practices that we’ll be focusing on are applicable to any organization as some workplace risks are more common than others – let’s take a look at them.
Practices that improve employee health and safety
Conduct risk assessments
As previously mentioned, even if employers focus on employee health and safety, they won’t always be successful in preventing accidents due to a number of factors – mostly external ones. For instance, introducing a piece of new equipment, practice, machinery, or policy might have unforeseen effects, ultimately leading to compromising employee safety. In order to identify them before it’s too late, employers must conduct assessments periodically or whenever required, for instance, a near miss. Doing so might be repetitive for many, but it improves workplace safety down the line, reducing OSHA violations and fines.
Providing a well-lit and hygienic environment
While this is a practice that many recommend, you’ll be surprised to know that a lot of employers fail to do this – leading to workplace safety incidents of all types. For instance, a well-lit environment can lead to the prevention of workplace injuries related to debris, hazardous floor with exposed or tangled wires, and so on. Use natural lighting whenever possible, or energy-saving bulbs that are close to natural lighting (such as fluorescent ones). This will not only help prevent workplace accidents but also headaches, as improper lighting can lead to them.
Lighting is just one side of the coin – providing a neat and clean environment is crucial to ensure proper employee health and safety. However, we’re not only talking about the workstation – floors, platforms, work areas, etc. must always be kept clean and must be disinfected regularly due to COVID-19. Ensure that employees are maintaining a distance of at least six feet from one another. Keep the floors and platforms clean of debris, water, cables, and any other material that can be a potential safety risk.
Have a fire safety policy in place
Since we’ve already talked about having a workplace safety policy a number of times, we won’t repeat it. Instead, we want to focus on fire safety, as it might be something more serious after the pandemic. This is because many are using sanitizers, rubbing alcohol, and similar products to disinfect their hands and surfaces. However, many might not know that these are substantial fire hazards and dangerous for everyone within the vicinity.
Thus, have an effective fire safety policy in place. Have posters put up that highlight the dangers of alcohol-based hand gels and sanitizers so that everyone is careful with them. Moreover, have fire exits properly marked and conduct fire drills so that everyone knows the ins and outs of what to do when such a situation occurs in the workplace.
Use an OSHA recordkeeping solution
Everything is being digitized nowadays – why leave OSHA recordkeeping behind? CloudApper Safety is a powerful yet simple OSHA recordkeeping application that streamlines compliance, reduces the administrative burden, and reduces workplace injuries. The best part of Safety is that it can be used right from smartphones – making OSHA recordkeeping more convenient than ever!
Employees can report incidents, accidents, and near misses along with photos or videos using their smartphones – making reporting easier and operations more efficient. Moreover, employees can also share the best workplace safety practices they feel are applicable to their work environment with their colleagues – promoting a workplace culture with safety at its core.