Although there has been a remarkably observable decrease in the cases of accidents resulting from injury, we cannot deny the fact that more than four thousand people risked losing their lives on the job. And this happened despite the policies, campaigns and other initiatives put in place by the government to protect workers. We all seem to take job security for granted. As an employer, it is your ethical responsibility to care for the employees who work for you; otherwise, there could be a disaster waiting to happen.
In addition to causing injuries, workplace accidents also cost time and money. On a more practical note, you could also be liable and forced to pay a fine that could significantly reduce your profits. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules penalize a violation of safety standards that could result in death or serious bodily harm to an employee. Therefore, developing a workplace safety policy and sticking to it is an absolute must.
Rules that identify a safe workplace
The government enacted the Occupational Health and Safety Act in 1970 to ensure that employers take care and always consider the safety of their workers in every job design, assigned task, and workflow process. Through this law, the government advocates that each employer be responsible for its employees by limiting the incidences and risks of injuries, illnesses and deaths at work.
OSHA provides regulatory programs for safety and health that companies and employees must follow. By inspecting workplaces and visiting legally registered establishments, OSHA ensures that every worker can access their right to a safe and healthy work environment.
How to ensure safety at work
OSHA encourages companies and business owners to observe safety procedures in their workplaces by noting that they have the following:
Meet administrative security requirements
Employers must have a safety development program recognized by all of their workers. They must also educate their employees about the company’s emergency plans, so each of them knows what to do in case of emergencies, such as fire or earthquake.
Make sure the office or site is not exposed to dangerous chemicals and gas leaks
Regular maintenance of pipelines, facilities, equipment and machines (if present) is a must for businesses, especially if the nature of your business involves handling hazardous chemicals. Each month, management must conduct a safety audit of all instruments and facilities within your establishment to ensure that malfunctioning or faulty supplies do not expose your workers to risk and injury.
Invest in personal safety tools, equipment and facilities for employees.
The importance of providing safe and durable equipment for workers, especially in the construction industry, is paramount in all safety regulations. Businesses and employers need to invest in new tools and facilities that are secure and easy to use; Not only will it make the workflow process more seamless, but it will also reduce the cost of insurance and medical bills that will pay if your employees are injured on the job.
Today, most offices are equipped with ergonomically designed tools and facilities. Each space generally employs architectural designs that reduce the risk of fire; electrical connections are carefully planned to minimize electrical short circuits. There are also material handling tools available on the market.
For example, construction companies may choose to purchase forklift-ready industrial hoppers to make it easier for their workers to do the difficult task of manually transferring heavy materials. The metal hopper will not only reduce various operating costs and job delays, but will also minimize the risks of injury on site.
Be strict in training your employees on the proper handling of each tool and instrument
As much as possible, make sure all your workers take safety training procedures seriously. Inadequate staff training is often the leading cause of most workplace accidents.
Hold regular meetings and inspections, and even introduce an incentive program if necessary to raise awareness of safety measures at work. Try setting up an award for “safe employee of the month” or run a contest inviting suggestions to improve safety.
What to do when your workplace is unsafe?
If you feel your workplace is unsafe, it’s always best to take this up with your employer first. If they ignore your words, then you can file a complaint with OSHA. You need not be afraid as they will not reveal anything about your name to your employer if you tell their staff not to.