5 Questions to Ask About Workplace Safety
One of the most important responsibilities you have as a business owner is to provide a safe work environment for your employees. Workplace safety becomes even more necessary the longer your company is in operation. Whether your business depends on hard labor or requires desk duty, you need a strategy for maintaining a safe environment. Employees that work in a safe environment are more productive, efficient, and reliable. They are also healthier, which helps to save the company money in both the short- and long-term.
When you’re developing a workplace safety plan, you need to ask yourself questions. These questions help you to evaluate your business’s needs and determine the correct workplace safety protocols. Even if your business already has a workplace safety strategy, regularly evaluating it by asking these questions will help keep it fresh and relevant as your business and employees change.
What Are the Current Policies?
If your business already has a workplace safety policy in place, this question will be easily answered. You will be able to look at your current policy and compare it to the current state of your workplace. If your employees are following protocols, and if no incidents or accidents have occurred, then the policy is working and you’ll like choose to continue with your current plan.
Are Current Policies Being Rejected?
You may discover during your evaluation that the problem isn’t a lack of workplace safety policy, but employees rejecting or even ignoring the safety practices in place. This may be because the policy is confusing or vague. If the policy is difficult to understand, employees may dismiss it in favor of convenience and getting the job done quickly. In some cases, rejection of the safety protocols is a sign of more serious problems with employee management.
What Are Your Workplace Risks?
If you do not have a policy in place, or if your current policy is not keeping pace with your business, you’ll want to evaluate the risks to determine what strategies you need. Physical risks are arguably the most familiar type of risks evaluated, whether they are traumatic injuries, slip-and-fall injuries, or ergonomic injuries due to prolonged sitting or repetitive motion. Cultural risks are also important. Cultural risks could include high levels of stress, information oversharing, or inappropriate behavior among employees.
What About Stress?
When you assess the cultural risks, you will touch on stress. Stress in the workplace, however, can manifest in a wide variety of ways, and it needs to be evaluated and addressed thoroughly. Illness, overwork, job instability, unannounced changes in policy and company structure, and hostility amongst employees can all be a cause of or contribute to excessive stress levels in the workplace. Determining what the sources of this workplace stress are and addressing them comprehensively is arguably the most important part of any workplace safety plan. Many of the other risks in a business, from physical injuries to defective products and errors in billing and purchasing, may be all but eliminated when stress levels are properly acknowledged and managed.
How Do You Build a Safety Culture into Your Business?
Now that you know where your safety risks lie and how you and your employees need to maintain workplace safety, it’s time to start building safety into your business’s culture. Using your company’s values as a foundation, you can create a comprehensive plan that will ensure that employees are healthier and safer, leading to a more effective, efficient and happy workforce.
Your workplace safety culture is a vital part of your company’s success. Besides protecting the health and safety of your employees, it improves the efficiency of your business, boosts productivity and morale, and even stretches its protective ability to your customers. Knowing what questions to ask when formulating a workplace safety strategy will set you firmly on the path to creating a safer and healthier professional environment.
Poms & Associates offers a broad range of business insurance and brokerage services and provides the most current information on a variety of business insurance policies, as well as important policy such as workplace safety. For more details about the basics of business insurance coverage, and to find out how Poms & Associates can assist you in evaluating your workplace safety and crafting a comprehensive policy., please visit our website or contact us.
Gabriella Messina is an author who has written online content for a variety of business and insurance related topics, including business insurance basics, workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and malpractice.