There are a lot of things that your office must be. It must be productive – so that your business can actually run so that it may meet, or exceed targets. It must also be safe – in more ways than one, so employees don’t feel both uncomfortable and threatened. They shouldn’t also be hurt at work. The thing is, accidents do happen in the workplace, but if we can do our best to not only avoid accidents, but prevent them from ever occurring – we can go a long way to making the workplace a nice place to work – and avoid any legal consequences.
Firstly, we need to think about your actions and workplace policy. You see, safe doesn’t just mean physically safe, it means emotionally safe. Work should be a safe space for all of your employees, this means that they shouldn’t feel emotionally uncomfortable at work. Your company should be an inclusive environment that welcomes all ages, genders, workers of all race, creeds, religions and sexualities. Your business should also cater for employees of all abilities. Any offensive behaviour is shown by your, your employees or the policy of your business could offend and upset members of staff. At best this isolates the staff member and makes them completely unproductive. At worst this might make a member of staff consider legal action. As a leader, manager or owner – it is within your remit to stomp out this behaviour the very second it rears its head in the workplace. It’s not acceptable at all.
With any workplace issue, don’t choose to live in denial. Anything that can happen, can happen in your workplace and if you choose to ignore issues – they will happen. If you could never imagine something happening in your workplace, it might be closer to happening than you think.
A safe workplace also means a physically safe place of work. Health and safety regulations aren’t guidelines, they are the law and they are the rules to follow. Especially so with heavy machinery. Be aware of anything that could be a problem in the workplace and teach this level of awareness. If you’re unsure, there are no end to the experts that you can bring in to offer suggestions and even run courses on safety.
A lot of health and safety laws are frustrating – but they are there for a reason. They exist not only to keep your employees safe, but ensure that your business is protected. If an employee is injured and it is the fault of the business, it could ensure that the business is damaged.
It is easy to make a building safe! Develop a fire evacuation plan, ensure floors are free of spills and stairs of free of obstructions. Keeping the workplace well lit and clean also helps as does educating employees on correct policy and procedures when using workplace machinery and equipment or when navigating the workspace.
Keeping a building safe for employees is necessary, it’s not negotiable – it needs to be done and done well!