Last updated: September 14, 2020
Under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) law, employers have the responsibility of ensuring a safe workplace. In essence, organizations should view it as a priority to create and maintain a safe workplace.
A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that 5,190 people died in fatal occupational injuries in 2016, a 7-percent rise from the previous year. Transportation incidents take the first place while violence and other injuries by individuals and animals come second. Others injuries involve falls, ladders, forklifts, electrical work, and respiratory issues.
As an employer, you have to identify the hazards and take measures to minimize or eliminate them entirely. Organizations need to foster a healthy culture for workplace safety throughout the year so ‘safety first’ becomes an integral part of the enterprise’s DNA. Here’s how to create and safe workplace;
Start with hiring competent workers
The first step to ensuring that the workplace safety is put first is to employ qualified workers right from the word go although it means paying higher salaries.
At no time should you succumb to the pressure of work to compromise on the quality of your hiring process. With highly-qualified workers, you can be sure they’ll save you the trouble of dealing with numerous accidents at the workplace
Organize workers training programs
The OHS law requires that workers be trained on safety in a language and vocabulary they’ll understand well. When it comes to workers training, the level of experience shouldn’t matter. Offer extensive training for all the aspects of any job before they can handle any machinery or chemicals.
Sensitize workers on the need to report on any issues or safety violations that put their workplace safety at risk, so they’re addressed immediately.
Implement strict policies on workplace drug abuse
About 70-percent of all the drug users are in active employment, reports Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). Both employees and employers have to suffer due to drug abusers. Drug use will affect the employees’ work performance since it impairs their decision-making abilities and hurts them physically. Drug abusers increase the risk of having horrible accidents, costing the employer financially, and filing for workers compensation claims and benefits.
Fortunately, there are excellent solutions to the workplace drug abuse and the resulting problems. The approach involves the implementation of a workplace drug program that handles the issues of drug abuse right from the time of hiring employees.
- Pre-employment drug testing is the initial step to ensuring that you don’t hire drug users. A poll by the Society of Human Resource Management shows that 57% of the employers require their job candidates to undergo a drug test before hiring them, which is a good step toward fighting workplace drug use.
- Random drug testing is another strong deterrent to drug abuse in the workplace. It involves conducting unannounced drug tests on a randomly selected individual(s).
- Reasonable suspicion drug testing is yet another approach to ensuring no drug use in the workplace. Although not common, this involves summoning an employee for drug testing if you have reason to suspect the employee is using a prohibited substance.
- Post-accident drug testing can help tell if alcohol and drug abuse are the cause of the accident. The results of such a test will not only let you establish the real cause of the accident but also get you to instill the safety measures.
Safe and properly maintained equipment
To ensure a safe workplace, ensure the employees have and use safe tools and equipment and that they’re properly maintained. When the machines and tools are running correctly, efficiency and production are optimal. If the machines undergo repairs and malfunction all the time, it means putting the lives of the workers at risk.
Provide the safety tools and resources
Aside from ensuring the equipment and tools are safe, every organization has to ensure they provide the safety resources such as googles, helmets, boots, and gloves so they can stay safe. Be sure to convince the workers of the need to have them for their safety regulation compliance.
Use visual safety aids and messages
Irrespective of how safety-oriented a worker usually is, at times they can forget. Firms can employ the digital signage systems as a constant reminder to the employees regarding the safe backing, forklift safety, proper body mechanics, avoiding slip, trip and fall. Workplace signs are a constant reminder that risks lie around waiting. Safety messages inform them to take particular precautionary measures when they approach certain areas to comply with the safety regulations.
Safety is paramount in the workplace for both employees and employers in Atlanta. Workers training, properly maintained equipment, post signs, and strict work policies are just a few of the approaches to ensure safe workplaces.