If you recently started a business, you're probably experiencing a mixture of elation and trepidation. Naturally, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that your business has the best possible chance to thrive. Thus, your mind may be racing with all of the things that can go wrong.
For instance, you may be concerned with workplace safety. Not only do you want to provide an optimal and safe environment for your employees, but you want to minimize the chances of being hit with a lawsuit in the event of an on-site injury. Keep in mind that visitors to your workplace can also file lawsuits if they are hurt on your commercial property — whether they be delivery people, clients, or anyone else who has legitimate business with your company.
Fortunately, there are strategies available for business owners to minimize the chances of employees and visitors becoming injured in the workplace. Here are just a few ideas.
Devise a Customized Safety Program
Incoming employees should all be briefed on best practices for safety in your particular work environment. You can devise a comprehensive safety manual customized for your workplace and make certain that each new employee is provided with a copy. Your safety program shouldn't stop with an orientation and a manual, however. Safety issues should be brought up at every staff meeting as well as during individual employee performance evaluations.
It's also essential to have an injury review process in place and to make sure that employees aren't asked to perform tasks that they aren't physically equipped for. If specialized safety equipment is a requirement of the job, make sure that this equipment is in good repair at all times. Signage in easily visible places reminding employees of best safety practices is also an excellent way to include in your workplace safety program.
You can also appoint a specific safety officer or safety committee from among your employees to ensure that your work environment is as safe as possible. Holding monthly safety meetings provides an excellent way to keep safety issues at the forefront of everyone's mind.
Practice Office Ergonomics
Cultivating optimal ergonomics is an essential part of keeping workplace safety levels high. For instance, if employees are sitting in chairs that cause back and leg pain or using desks that aren't at the right level for the chairs that they're using, they may be far more likely to have workplace mishaps. Monitors that are too close or too far away create eyestrain that can potentially result in workplace accidents caused by impaired eyesight. If an employee's foot or leg falls asleep due to a chair causes circulation issues, that person may have an increased vulnerability to slip-and-fall accidents.
You should also allow and encourage employees to take stretch breaks throughout the course of the day as a part of your office ergonomic strategy. Even a brief five-minute stretch break helps alleviate the kind of muscle tension that can cause accidents.
Promote Workplace Cleanliness
The overall physical environment of the workplace can have a serious impact on the safety of employees and visitors. Some business owners try to patch together cleaning duties among employees, but this is generally a huge mistake. Part of the problem is that employees may not be proficient in best practices concerning keeping a workplace clean, and they may also rush through the job in order to get back their regular duties.
A janitorial service is a far better option. Because they can come in during the hours when your business is closed, employees and visitors won't have to deal with wet floors, which is one of the major safety hazards of today's workplaces. This will also help keep your workplace clutter-free, which is an essential component in workplace safety.