Having your own business is something you’ve been dreaming about for a long time. Breaking into entrepreneurship entails overcoming many issues – legal, financing, sales and marketing, liability protection, and more. Somehow, you’ve done it. You can now live your passion and make an impact on the local community. The key to success is to evolve and adapt your business model to your market and industry. You need to be able to change with the times. Even when you do that, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it big.
Being an entrepreneur is hard, just so you know. Success is on you. Results are on you. And you call the shots. You’re responsible for safety in the workplace. For a strong safety culture, you need to engage your front-line workers as often as possible. Unsafe conditions will ultimately decrease morale and the productivity of people in the organization. Given that we’re living in such a litigious society, don’t be surprised if you’re sued. An employees can bring a claim about a breach of health and safety regulations.
It doesn’t matter if you’re operating a grocery store or a mining operation. Maintaining a healthy and safe environment is a top priority. You must take into account the following factors.
Undertake Generic and Specific Risk Assessments
Regardless of the workplace environment in question, there might be hazards that could cause injuries or illness. This is precisely why you should undertake a risk assessment and get a good understanding of what you’re going up against. It’s recommended to perform both a generic and a specific risk assessment. You need as much information as possible regarding the hazards and risks in the workplace. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that there’s no such thing as a 100 percent injury-free workplace. There are just acceptable and non-acceptable risks.
As the name implies, a generic risk assessment is completed for general activity. The examination is carried out for activities that involve repetitive work tasks. A specific risk assessment, on the other hand, is undertaken for a specific activity, at a specific location. It’s necessary to clearly understand the risks and see what hazard-control methods can be implemented. In the end, the costs of conducting a risk assessment are minimal as compared to the compensation you would have to pay in the event of a lawsuit.
Don’t Postpone Talking About Safety
Personal injury claims are on the rise, to the point that special attention is being paid to workplace safety. Any person who has been injured because of the employer’s intentional conduct has the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them. Getting sued is never fun. Accusations associated with pending litigation can seriously damage your reputation. If you take reasonable steps, you can prevent incidents of this kind. Therefore, take the time to discuss with your team members about workplace safety. You’ve got nothing to lose.
If you manage a large company, send an email outlining safety standards. Make sure you have the emails of every employee. Equally important is to hold regular meetings and make sure everyone is on the same page. You can share case studies and incident reports. A picture tells a story just as well, if not better than written words. That’s why you need to take pictures of safe actions. Let everyone see what expectations you have by providing examples of safe actions.
If you fail to speak up, you’ll struggle with the loss of productivity from regular absences, costs of recruitment and expenses, not to say fines and penalties for breaching regulations. Creating a culture of safety within your organization can go a long way towards making things more efficient.
Encourage Employees to Report Safety Violations
Fear is the main reason why people refrain from reporting workplace hazards or accidents. to put it simply, individuals don’t feel comfortable talking about certain issues. They believe that this will open them up for judgment. As we can see, there are socio-cultural facts that influence reporting among company employees. To encourage people to speak up about work-related issues, prove that it’s worthwhile to do so. Show your team that disclosing the truth won’t backfire on them. Take their concerns seriously if employees make a complaint.
If problems go unaddressed, they can become big ones. Remind people that reporting is neither difficult nor time-consuming. Most importantly, show them that their reporting results in positive actions such as updating protective gear, eliminating workplace hazards, or correcting wrong behaviors. The fact is that reporting helps prevent reoccurrences, provides a better understanding of safety risks, and creates lessons to be learned. As a rule, potential hazards and incidents should be reported immediately, regardless of severity. The people in your organization should never hesitate to express their opinions frankly.
Provide Much-Needed PPE
Personal protective equipment safeguards employees by acting as an effective barrier for safety risks on the job. Safety gear is paramount in industries such as construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing. Hazard risks include wet floors, falling debris, and so on. You need to have personal protective equipment readily available and provide clear instructions on how they should be used. Even if you’ve assessed workplace risks and installed some safety systems, hazards still remain. Employees should have at least gloves and face masks.
Don’t Ignore Business Property Security
Business property security is one of the most overlooked aspects pertaining to workplace safety. It’s imperative now more than ever to prevent theft, damage, and harm. Install suitable locks to deter intruders. The office should be properly locked every time you head out for a business lunch. Think about installing an alarm system. If something were to go wrong, the alarm will notify the police, so it provides an extra layer of security.
If you don’t stick to the rules, employees can bring a lawsuit for personal injuries or other claims. As mentioned in the beginning, litigation is on the rise and, while some cases are barred by workers’ compensation laws, there are exceptions to the rule.