Regardless of the nature of a particular business, hazards exist and mishaps can occur. Any workplace could be a setting in which the potential for injury is high. Some of the most common perils in the workplace include electrical issues, chemicals that are harmful to humans, and dangerous equipment.
Workers may also sustain injuries when they lift heavy items without taking proper precautionary measures. Even a high level of stress can lead to physical injuries – and such stress may also have a negative psychological impact on a worker.
The Cost of Workplace Injuries
Hundreds of thousands of workforce injuries are reported annually, and a certain percentage of such injuries result in death. A high number of injuries inevitably lead to a high number of sick days. In addition to costing workers money, workplace mishaps can cost employers a lot of money, as well.
Small Businesses May Be Particularly Affected
When employees are unable to go to work, productivity often takes a nosedive; if enough mishaps occur, a business could have trouble recovering from the cumulative loss. This is especially true for a small business. Small businesses that don’t implement effective health and safety regulations for their employees could potentially be forced to close their doors.
Many large companies have health and safety programs in place because they must do so, in order to manage a large workforce.
Although some small business owners may attempt to conduct business without establishing this kind of program, the ultimate cost could be far greater than the cost of setting up and enforcing such a program. Educating workers on workplace safety – and then ensuring that they follow the guidelines of a workplace safety program – could enable a small company to stay in business.
How to Implement a Successful Safety Program
The best way to implement a successful safety program in the workplace is to make it an integral part of the culture of a business. A safety program must be taken as seriously as the basic mission of a company is. Safety should be one of the top goals of any company – because without an effective system of safety measures in place, a business could fail due to excessive workplace injuries. When workers are encouraged to regard workplace safety as an essential aspect of their jobs, they may experience fewer injuries and illnesses overall.
Understanding the Concept of Health and Safety Regulations
To keep illnesses and injuries in the workplace as minimal as possible, a business needs to devise an effective system of regulations. This system should be devised in writing, in order to remain compliant with workplace safety regulations for businesses. A written plan should be created, and it should demonstrate the ways that a business intends to enforce the safety policies it provides to its workforce.
One important aspect of devising such a program is to assess the potential for risk in a particular workplace setting. Risk assessment is a vital technique for evaluating various hazards and establishing methods for avoiding such hazards whenever possible. Whether or not a business is legally required to do this, such an evaluation should be done to ensure the safety of employees.
Providing Suitable Safety Precautions
After an assessment has been made regarding the risks in a workplace, the next step is to provide appropriate safety precautions. The right equipment (with safety guards for dangerous machinery) must be made available to workers, so they can work in a safe environment. Signs that remind employees about taking safety precautions should be posted throughout the workplace.
Supervisors should be properly trained on how to ensure safety in a work setting. First aid supplies should be readily accessible. Accidents should be immediately reported, and the related details must be sufficiently recorded.
Additionally, all regulations established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should be followed. If a company is required to purchase liability insurance for employees, that insurance should be maintained at all times. Following the laws associated with workplace safety makes sense for employers.
Doing so keeps them compliant, but it also enables them to provide safe working conditions for their employees. This helps businesses to save money by maximizing productivity, and it makes employees feel valued by their employers. Safety involves more than remaining compliant; it involves doing the right thing for everyone involved.
This information has been provided by the Occupational Safety Councils of America, a group that specializes in providing employee drug testing, workforce data management, and safety training for the workplace. OSCA has been helping companies stay compliant with OSHA regulations for over 30 years.