As a business owner, it goes without saying that you want to keep your employees as safe as possible while they are on the job. In addition to protecting the health of your valued team, you also want to keep your insurance premiums and workers’ compensation costs to a minimum.
Fortunately, planning a safety coaching program that will keep your employees safe and reduce your liability is a relatively straightforward process. To get this important program off the ground, check out the following suggestions. You can engage safety management consulting services to help you figure out the best safety precautions for your specific needs.
Understand the inherent dangers of your specific industry
Not all types of companies have the same risks to safety. If you own a bakery, you will need to discuss how to operate an industrial oven in the correct way; whereas the owner of a landscaping company will need to focus on the proper use of lawn mowers, electric trimmers, and other equipment. In order to reduce your potential liabilities as much as you can, start by identifying what specific issues are frequently associated with your company and/or industry.
For example, if your employees could potentially be exposed to asbestos in any way while at work, teach them which products (like car parts and cement) may contain this dangerous fiber and recommend that they steer clear of any potentially hazardous areas; this will prevent them from potentially being exposed to risks like mesothelioma. Even if you do not handle asbestos in your workplace and your concerns are not mesothelioma related, it is still important to follow strict safety requirements and regularly monitor the health of your employees.
Review your company’s workplace habits
A number of common work practices may cause work-related injuries. For example, if your team regularly engages in repetitive tasks, asking them to work overtime may lead to injuries. A common example of this issue is ergonomic injuries; workers in a number of industries must do certain physical moves over and over such as pushing and pulling heavy loads, bending, reaching overhead and more.
These jobs can lead to musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, and trigger finger. To prevent this from happening, implement policies at work that focus on ergonomics, which involves correctly fitting each job to your employees. Limit the amount of heavy lifting or repetitive motion that your team does on a daily basis, as well as working in awkward positions or staying in the same posture for an extended period of time.
Training for new and existing employees should also be a key part of your new safety coaching program. This way, as your team takes on new job duties, you will be sure that everyone is on the same safety-related page.
For example, if falls are a potential hazard at your company — whether from using ladders as part of your work or from something as simple as changing a light bulb in the break room — implementing fall prevention and protection rules is paramount.
As the CDC notes, while federal regulations and industry standards are in place for keeping employees as safe as possible from fall-related injuries, successfully preventing falls at work requires establishing a work safety culture through educating your workforce.
Making your business a safer place to work is definitely doable; by starting with an honest look at the dangers your employees face and taking tangible steps to eliminate specific habits that may place people at risk, you should notice a definite reduction in workplace injuries.