When we think of workplace safety, the first things that come to mind are fire exits, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and innovative elevator smoke curtains. These are equipment that is a must-have in workplaces to ensure the safety of everyone at work if a disaster or an accident should happen. But, there are other steps that both the employers and employees can take to have and maintain a safe workplace for both parties. Read on to know some of them.
Why a Safe Workplace Matters
Injuries that happen in the workplace are so common. According to the National Safety Council, an employee can get injured while on the job every seven seconds in the U.S. So, when you do that math, it means that there could be as many as 540 workplace injuries every hour. That’s very alarming and makes you think how lucky you are if you’ve never had any work-related injuries.
Everyone wants to have a safe workplace, even if the job involves many hazards, such as construction. We listed a few reasons and explained why workplace safety is vital for both employers and employees. Here they are:
A safe workplace can avoid any financial loss
Injuries that happen in a workplace will have a financial impact on the company. If the company values its employees, then it will put safety first. Ensuring a safe environment is a company’s responsibility that reduces risks of any injuries and, in turn: any financial losses.
A safe workplace can reduce any property damage
In a way, this is related to the first reason we listed. Injuries that cause property damages or the other way around can lessen any financial losses. It is the company’s responsibility to keep their facilities safe so that no one will be in a dangerous position.
A safe workplace earns the company a stellar corporate reputation
Having a good reputation would make a company desirable for others to do business with them. It would also attract employees to want to work for it and stay longer.
A safe workplace increases productivity
Employees get to be in their element at work when they know that they can work without worrying about their safety while in the office. Training and education about safety wouldn’t hurt as they can engage workers and make them more efficient and productive.
A safe workplace enhances the quality of work
It’s human nature for us to reciprocate what is we receive. When employees feel safe in their workplace, they think that their company cares for them, and in return, they would also care about the kind of work they bring to the table.
What You Can Do to Have a Safe Workplace
Although creating and maintaining a safe work environment should be in the hands of the management, the workers could also do something to contribute to it. Below are some of them:
Practice a safe environment
Safety — or the lack thereof — isn’t just limited to the risks of injury because sexual harassment is prevalent in the workplace and this issue has surfaced and attracted global attention in the past few years. According to Workplace Sexual Harassment Statistics, 72% of this common workplace problem victims do not even bother to file a complaint if they experience any unwelcome sexual advances or discrimination. And that can be avoided by keeping an open dialogue about these issues.
Solving this unsafe workplace culture has alerted many companies to the problem, and they are prioritizing finding ways to address and solve these kinds of issues. As an employee, you should know your boundaries and set your own too, and have conversations about these matters with your co-workers.
Organize your workplace
If there are any high-risk areas at work that you found, consider putting up signs and labels to warn your co-workers. Emails are a good way to send and receive any information about any workplace problems, but signs and labels get the message across much faster.
Besides safety, hygiene is also essential. Having a clean workspace can reduce any unnecessary injuries and could make employees feel more at home.
Collaborate with occupational clinicians
An insight into avoiding and responding to any injuries is essential and is achievable by partnering with occupational clinicians. These health care professionals can identify areas in your worksite that might be a risk for you and other employees. They specialize in using a scientific and holistic approach to ensure work hazards are solved and avoided. If you haven’t had one do a thorough check of your workplace, then tell your manager about it.
Working Towards a Safer Workplace
Keeping a safe and clean workplace may sound like a bit of work, but it is beneficial to take precautionary steps rather than dealing with a problem after it has already happened. Prevention is better than cure, after all. You wouldn’t want to break your arm just because somebody forgot to put a sign saying the floor is slippery when wet, would you?