Businesses can’t afford to overlook workplace safety. Employers lost $171 billion to death and injury in 2019, according to the National Safety Council. The cost could run higher in incidences affecting multiple employees all at once.
Startups are no exception to the massive cost of workplace safety lapses. Not only do such scenarios impact a business’s bottom line, but they can also result in negative publicity for the employer.
With that being said, here are a few tips startup founders can apply to improve workplace safety and secure the well-being of employees.
1. Analyze your business’s risk profile.
As a startup founder, you must know if your business provides employees with a safe and healthy workplace. This would mean assessing the facility for potential safety hazards. Not only that, you should also check if your office space is up to code. Review local building regulations and get a third-party inspector to help uncover structural issues and check if there’s anything to improve or add to your workplace safety program. By knowing your safety profile, you can come up with an effective strategy for reducing workplace accidents.
2. Train employees on basic workplace safety.
The best way you can prevent accidents on the job is through knowledge. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone knows their role in creating a safe work environment. Safety is a team effort, so it’s important to provide everyone with the training they need to recognize and avoid common safety lapses that could lead to damage and injuries. For this, you can start by holding safety seminars every quarter of the year.
3. Make safety gear accessible.
Aside from training employees, you must also make sure that safety equipment such as PPEs and fire extinguishers are within reach. Take an inventory of these items and keep them in good condition at all times. Also, when procuring safety equipment, buy only from suppliers recognized by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Test your orders and train your employees on practical usage and storage.
4. Build a safety compliance team.
To make sure your startup complies with national and local standards, it helps if you can form a dedicated safety team to regularly assess your business’s safety position and avoid legal problems later on. The team can also handle unavoidable incidences such as viral infections on-site. In addition to a building maintenance specialist, you should also have a lawyer to help you handle and process workplace injury claims before they escalate. You wouldn’t want to face a Columbia workers’ comp lawyer if you fail to provide the compensation to which an injured worker is entitled.
5. Follow maintenance schedules.
If your startup uses heavy machinery or advanced computers, you need to make sure these assets are in good condition. From vehicles to assembly lines, regular maintenance can help prevent mechanical failure and ensure continuity. More importantly, it can prevent accidents and keep employees away from costly injuries.
Improving workplace safety is one of your priorities as a startup founder. Following these tips will help you steer clear of costly workplace injuries and create a safer environment for workers.