~by Kara Masterson~
An employer has a lot of responsibilities. This includes responsibilities to investors to produce a strong return. It includes responsibilities to customers to deliver quality product. However, perhaps even more important than these is providing a safe work environment for employees. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,836 workplace injuries resulted in death in 2015. That is why it is so essential for you to do all that you can to keep your employees safe. It’s an employer’s moral and legal responsibility to ensure worker safety. Here are some ways you can do so.
1. Follow OSHA Guidelines
OSHA is the governmental agency that sets rules and regulations for workplace safety. OSHA is an acronym that stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA regulations cover everything from standards for guard rails to the clean-up of harmful materials. Following these rules is absolutely essential. Not following them is also illegal and can result in serious fines and other harsh penalties for your company.
2. Invest in Safe Equipment
The failure of equipment and machinery in an industrial or workplace setting is another big cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. With this in mind, OSHA developed regulations to prevent workers from getting caught in machinery. There are other equipment related risks as well. If combustible material is not mixed by the right kind of machinery, it can cause an explosion. For example, a top quality laboratory air mixer may be required to ensure safety in cases like this. Having really quality equipment is another great way to keep your employees safe.
3. Document All Safety Related Incidents
Thorough documentation of accidents, injuries and other safety related incidents is another thing demanded from companies by OSHA. Documenting such things, however, produces more benefits than simply conforming to the law. If you document an accident that happened on the job site, it should give you the information you need to prevent similar accidents in the future. It may even save the lives of employees.
4. Make Safety Part of Company Culture
Company culture makes a big impact on whether or not a workplace is safe. Safety is something you should make the number one priority at all levels of your company. It should bleed down all the way down from ownership to the lowest level employee. If this is the case, everyone will think of safety first and won’t be afraid to report issues before they cause injuries on the job.
Workplace safety is important for a multitude of reasons. It can ensure that you’re following the law. It can prevent costly lawsuits. However, most importantly, maintaining safety is the moral thing to do. Do everything you can as an employer to ensure that your employees have a safe workplace.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family.