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Employees always have a basic expectation that employers will offer a safe environment. Every one of us has to work to put food on the table and all of us need security at our workplace. The workplace is an important part of life as we spend half of our lives there. It should be a place where you can feel comfortable, like home. No one wants to get hurt physically or emotionally at work, but if you are you may have a case to make a claim against your employer.
Safety is the most basic requirement for all employees because it helps them do better and encourages them to be a part of the company for a longer period of time. Employees will also be more productive if they are comfortable and safe. Thinking about the safety of the employees is the job of the employer and if for any reason employees are injured at work, then the employees have the right to recover and this will lead to a loss for the company and moreover a loss to the employee.
The Health and Safety at work Act 1974 has laid down special regulations for the safety of the employees, making it mandatory for all organisations to abide by it. There are different safety precautions to be adopted for employees working at construction sites, factories and offices depending upon the risk levels.
It is very important for the employees to know about the various hazards in the workplace to avoid any mishaps. The employer should always conduct educational sessions for the safety of employees, especially when new employees join.
Fire safety should be an important concern for all employers. All organisations, whether big or small should have fire detectors and warning systems in place to prevent accidents. There should always be well signed escape routes and exits in the office along with fire extinguishers in all necessary places. Employees should be well trained for fire emergencies. Also, employers should undertake regular checks of wiring and other types of electrical equipment.
Stress can be a major hazard affecting the health of the employees. So the employers should know what exactly causes stress and try to alleviate occurrences where stress can be created.
These safety tips will create a good working environment in the office with additional productivity and performance:
- All important office equipment should be chosen keeping in mind the safety of the employees. E.g. Chairs should be adjustable to avoid backache and users of VDUs should have regular eye tests.
- Sometimes the location of the office can be harmful and stressful for the employees thus affecting their work performance. Try to evoke motivation and enthusiasm to give your employees a better day at work.
- The emotional well being of employees is of paramount importance. Maintain a fear free atmosphere at the company enabling the employees to come forward with their problems and seek appropriate solutions. This will build a good bond between the organisation and the employees.
- Inform your employees about the various hazards in the workplace and what safety measures to adopt if they come across a potential hazard.
Construction sites and factories
Employees are sometimes exposed to unhealthy and risky conditions on construction sites and in factories and should consider relevant safety rules and regulations:
- Employees should work under the supervision of the factory foreman and he/she should be well aware of the safety precautions adopted. All the employees working in factory units should be well educated about the various measures that need to be adopted to maintain a good workplace.
- The employer should also make an effort in preparing a list of dos and don’ts for the employees. Displaying them at a prominent place is beneficial as it will attract the attention of employees.
- It is crucial to have a first aid kit available in the workplace. Also active care should be taken in providing all work items like safety belts, helmets and shoes.
- The employer should also educate the employees about the various steps to be taken during an emergency such as a fire, power cut, lift emergency etc.
Wet and icy conditions can be dangerous when driving and walking, too. And, many people fall victim to such work or road accidents during the winter. This could be accompanied with serious injuries leaving you having to take time off work and thus causing a loss of income, too.
It’s crucial to reduce such injury risk when your employees enter and leave the workplace, especially when walking across ice and snow covered car parks. Ask your employees to always keep an attention on the weather.
Following are tips to avoid a slip and fall on the ice:
- Always park your car close to the building. Make sure the area is well-lit and you can see the surface you are walking on.
- Be attentive and take your time. Remember to take short, flat steps and calmly walk at a slow pace.
- Do not forget to wear proper footwear. Boots with rubber treads are a must.
- Always walk on pavements and stay off paths that are badly maintained in the winter. Use handrails if there are any.
- Take your time when carrying heavy objects to and from the car.
General work safety tips
These are some measures you can adopt to avoid workplace injuries. It is not very difficult to follow. If you care for your employees and your company, maintaining good workplace conditions is essential. It will increase the employee’s enthusiasm and love for the company.
- Maintain the workplace, keep it clean and provide a productive environment for employees.
- Have a clean area with a fresh environment as it will motivate the employees to work with a high level of interest.
- Provide them with safety instructions and training like which places are hazardous and what is the safety precaution to be adopted.
- Care for your employees. Provide them the necessary equipment they need like tools and machinery but also guard them regarding its fatalities.
- Make sure the security of the employees is always considered and make efforts to counteract common incidents.
- Maintain your machinery in good order. Shut down the machine that can cause hazards.
- Do not expose employees to difficult conditions. Avoid unnecessary hazards. Provide them all the safety tips in such cases.