Workplace safety is a serious consideration for any business. The cost associated with a worker injury can be considerable, and insurance only provides so much coverage. The associated costs can take away from other initiatives, causing a small business to flounder and even fail. Safety is a concern in all industries, but especially so for those with a high risk of personal injury. Health care, construction, agriculture, and manufacturing industries are rated with the highest risk. Entrepreneurs should be especially concerned as they are solely responsible for mitigating risk and keeping arguably their most valuable assets – their employees – safe.
Develop Plans and Procedures
One of the most important and effective ways business owners can keep work place injury to a minimum is by planning ahead and developing safety procedures. Crisis response plans should be created to outline how to respond to injuries, natural disasters, and workplace violence. These plans should be made available to all employees, and include clear direction about how to handle these situations. Developing safety procedures that detail proper equipment use, maintenance, accident mitigation, and security guidelines will also aid in the prevention of injuries.
Safety Inspections & Equipment Maintenance
High-risk industries like construction, agriculture, and manufacturing share one thing in common – workers must use specialized machinery on a routine basis. Heavy duty equipment like cranes, hoists, and material handling machines pose an added risk to users if they are not well maintained. Conducting scheduled safety inspections helps to identify issues before they turn into injuries. Routine maintenance and repair are necessary with these types of equipment. Partnering with a trusted company, like American Equipment Inc that specializes in crane manufacturing, modernization, repair, and service ensures your equipment is always in top condition.
Another key component for employee protection is adequate training on safety, equipment use, and security. Staff awareness is essential for reducing risk within your organization. All workers should receive safety training on industry related topics like preventing slips, trips, and falls, ladder safety, building or work site security, and use of personal protective gear. Additionally, full training on use, recognizing issues, and tag out procedures should be provided to any team member who will be operating the equipment.
Know the Law
In the United States, the Department of Labor administers and enforces laws related to worker health and safety. Compliance with these laws is required for all businesses. Understanding which laws apply to your company is essential for protecting your business and your staff. At minimum, all entrepreneurs should be familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations.
As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for workplace safety and the protection of the people you employ. Developing appropriate safety plans and procedures, conducting routine inspections and maintenance, providing proper training, and knowing the law will reduce your liability and your risk. Embracing these principles will ensure your business does not fall victim to the cost associated with workplace injuries.