Handling Safety Issues in the Workplace

Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to the workplace. Depending upon the business, disregarding proper safety could lead to serious injury or even death. Any company that puts the job before the person should be an immediate red flag to employees to demand change or find work elsewhere. Companies who do not make safety a top priority will have issues with employee retention and, eventually, business viability. The goal is to ensure employees have trust in the company to keep them safe and provide all necessary precautions against both health and safety hazards.

Required Employer Responsibilities

Legally, every company is responsible for taking the right steps towards keeping employees safe. While there are many, here are a few highlighted by the United States Department of Labor and OSHA:

  • Regularly examine workplace conditions to ensure they conform to your business’ OSHA standards
  • Provide employees with safe tools and equipment, properly maintain equipment, and provide comprehensive training for correct usage
  • Utilize color-coding, posters, labels, or signs to warn employees of potential hazards
  • Establish and update operating procedures and continually communicate them to employees
  • Provide comprehensive training to all employees on proper safety using each individual’s language and vocabulary to ensure full understanding.

Preventing Health and Safety Hazards

Following the guidelines set by OSHA is the best place to start in order to create a safe working environment for everyone. Of course, in order to provide the safest environment for employees, it is vital to identify any current safety or health problems present within the workplace.

First, it’s important to understand what exactly health or safety hazards are.

  • Health hazards specifically pose harm to the human body but aren’t typically sudden injuries. These can be chemical, biological, physical, psychological, or injuries due to repetitive strain. While some health effects may present themselves immediately, such as if one were to inadvertently inhale a dangerous chemical, others may take time if they cause a person to develop cancer, reproductive issues, and more.
  • Safety hazards, on the other hand, are those that can result in serious injuries or fatalities, and typically occur due to lack of training, precautions, or even poor maintenance. Such hazards can cause falls, machinery accidents, fires, explosions, vehicle accidents, physical violence, and more.

If management isn’t regularly present in potentially hazardous areas, listening to your employees’ complaints and concerns is imperative. Those who work closest to potential hazards or are exposed to them daily may be seeing something you aren’t. Any concern should be examined, investigated, and remedied. Observe which particular employees are experiencing injuries or symptoms to help determine how, when, and where these dangers are present.

Why Safety is Important

Of course, keeping employees safe and healthy is the number one reason to make workplace safety a priority. From a business standpoint, providing a safe environment will help keep employees happy, ensure they have trust in the company, and help reduce employee turnover. If you find your company is experiencing high turnover rates, get honest, timely feedback from exiting employees will help you get to the root of the issue and make changes before losing more great talent. Using a third-party system, such as our ExitRight® interviews, will provide you with in-depth analytics and the ability to take quick action on feedback. You can also utilize employee stay interviews to get open and honest feedback from those currently employed, which can also be outsourced with HSD Metrics, saving your company valuable time.

Don’t let something as important as the safety of employees become an issue – take action now. For more information or to schedule a demo of our surveys and products, contact us today.