Five Tips to Identify Safety Issues in the Workplace
As an employer or business owner, the ability to keep your workers safe is of utmost importance. Not only is this a legal and moral responsibility, but it directly impacts your bottom line by helping you avoid the high costs of employee turnover, increased insurance premiums, and costly fines for non-compliance.
By being proactive, you can identify and address safety issues in the workplace and prevent many accidents before they happen. Here are the five steps you need to know:
1. Gather information about existing workplace hazards
The first step to mitigating potential hazards is simply knowing which risks exist on your particular worksite. Hazards may include physical threats such as air quality, safety dangers associated with working with specific machinery, or chemical or ergonomic risks.
Determine which workplace hazards could potentially cause harm or injury to your employees.
2. Inspect your workplace for hazards
Next, you will need to physically inspect your workplace for potential hazards. For example, identify where there may be a greater risk of slips, trips, and falls, check equipment for possible threats, and determine where there may be ergonomic issues.
Record identified safety issues and start identifying corrective actions that may be taken to help make your workplace safer for everyone.
3. Identify health-related hazards
The next step is to start identifying health-related hazards. This is often more difficult than identifying other risks since these issues may not be visible to the naked eye. Furthermore, harm from health-related troubles may take months or years to manifest rather than something that happens quickly, like a slip and fall.
Health-related hazards may be related to circulating viruses such as COVID-19 or influenza, or they may be related to an employee’s medical condition, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems. You must protect your employees’ health as best as possible and ensure they have the help or tools they need to do their jobs safely.
4. Conduct incident investigations
Conducting incident investigations allows you to look at incidents that have already happened at your workplace, establish the root cause(s) of why they happened, and take action to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
It is essential to have a proper procedure in place to execute such investigations. Identify who should be conducting them and include what information you will collect and how feedback will be shared with management and the rest of the team.
5. Identify hazards associated with emergency situations
The last step is to identify hazards that are not likely to occur regularly but may happen in an emergency situation. For example, how will your company respond if there is a chemical spill, a fire, or an outbreak of a virus like COVID-19?
Having a plan for these unexpected events will help to keep your team safe.
Contact TeksMed today
While preventing harm and injury from occurring in the first place is always the best plan, there may be times when you will need a disability management or return to work program. TeksMed can help your company with both. Contact us today to learn how we can be part of your overall safety plan.