Your company may take great pride in being a great place to work. Nevertheless, even with the best intentions, the structure of work at your company may be detrimental to the health and well-being of your employees.
Many employees report that their jobs and the work requirements are major causes of stress for them. Studies have shown that how jobs are structured may considerably impact both employees’ health and safety and the costs associated with health expenses.
As employers, you know that employees are the foundation of any successful company. They serve as your customers’ initial point of contact regarding your service or product. Your employees reflect your company and, thus, of you.
Therefore, ensuring that employees are in the best possible position to carry out the required tasks is essential. This entails being in good physical and mental health.
In this article, we will focus on why companies need to prioritize their employee’s health and safety in the workplace and the top 10 strategies they can implement to enhance it.
Why is Employee Health & Safety important?
A safe and healthy workplace is essential for employees to work in any organization. Additionally, it can minimize the cost of accidents and illnesses, lower absenteeism and turnover, boost productivity and quality, and improve employee morale. Protecting your employees lowers sick days and ensures a more effective and productive workplace.
Research shows that workplaces prioritizing health and safety have more productive employees. Your company will experience less disruption and spend less money if there is reduced illness and accident-related downtime.
Employee safety refers to providing a safe working environment, tools, policies, and procedures to safeguard employees’ health and safety (also known as occupational health and safety). Lately, employee safety has risen to the top of many businesses priorities.
Although every team and company are unique, there are some common steps that you may take in any sector to enhance your employee’s health and safety.
10 Strategies to improve your workplace health & safety
Enhancing workplace health and safety is essential to making it better, safer, and more productive. Ten strategies for ensuring workplace health and safety are listed below.
1. Train your employees well
All employees must receive enough training, especially if their jobs are at risk of workplace accidents.
Give your employee’s written instructions and safe work practices so they may verify anything they are doubtful of or have forgotten from their training on their own. You can do this with the help of a workplace safety program. Also, ensure your employees are being watched to make sure they apply their training to their jobs safely and effectively.
2. Inspect your workplace
Ensure that all tools and equipment are kept up-to-date and safe to use regularly. Similarly, inspect storage spaces and go through safe work practices. Make sure that your employees are not working in an unhealthy work environment as it can affect employees’ mental and physical well-being thus negatively impacting your business efficiency. Check out few of the below steps to inspect your workplace.
- Are the boxes in your storage space packed securely?
- Are your employees’ given instructions on how to lift large objects safely?
- Are your employees aware of the location of the fire exit and meeting spot in case of a fire?
3. Create a plan for improving health and safety
Employers are responsible for identifying workplace hazards and risks and taking action to reduce or eliminate them.
Inform your employees of your plans to ensure their safety as well as your expectations from them. Make sure your employees have access to a first aid kit.
Hazards could include anything like a cleaner using powerful cleaning supplies, a massive equipment mechanic, or a warehouse manager stacking heavy boxes.
4. Provide employees with opportunities to identify & solve workplace problems
Allowing employees to participate in workplace improvements can be a successful strategy for promoting workplace health and safety.
According to a study, performed by a group of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, it was discovered that those who were allowed to engage in a systematic procedure for recognizing and resolving issues at work showed lower rates of burnout and higher levels of job satisfaction.
Employees who had the chance to collaborate on solving problems were also less likely to express a desire to quit their positions, which is important for businesses looking to keep their best employees.
5. Reward your employees for safe behavior
The use of incentives can help improve employee health and safety. Small incentives for observing safety procedures help preserve employee satisfaction, which helps to lower workplace accidents.
Employees can be inspired by incentives to join your programs and reach their goals. Rewarding positive behavior is preferable to penalizing inaction or underperformance. The rewards you provide can be tiered, with different levels of reward depending on an individual’s or a group’s accomplishments.
6. Partner with occupational healthcare centers
Clinicians in occupational medicine and occupational healthcare centers can offer insightful advice on workplace injury and prevention. By examining your workplace and locating places where there is a significant risk for employee injury, these doctors can assist you in preventing workplace injuries.
Physical and occupational therapists can assist you in evaluating individuals for physically demanding tasks and support the return-to-work process by developing human performance evaluations and improving workplace ergonomics.
7. Encourage stretch breaks for your employees
Stretch breaks are a simple technique to enhance employee health and workplace ergonomics. Reduce the risk of repetitive motion injuries by stretching for even five minutes. Stretching helps release tight muscles and loosen joints.
When muscles are kept static, they will become more readily fatigued, circulation will decline, you will feel uncomfortable, and the task will get harder. Stretching can ease the pain brought on by uncomfortable postures, repetitive motions, and overly forceful actions.
8. Investigate the cause of accidents if they occur
When an incident occurs but no significant accidents occur, do not be afraid to look back and determine what caused the minor incident. This will help you determine the cause and prevent a repeat of the incident and, in turn, promote workplace health and safety.
9. Implement safety protocols from the start
The first step in ensuring workplace safety is to employ qualified employees who pay close attention to detail. Employees who adhere to safety rules and carry out their duties per established procedures are the foundation of a safe workplace.
Some employers examine the physical requirements of each job role with the help of physical therapists. The findings are applied to post-offer pre-placement functional testing and functional job analysis.
10. Make improving health and safety a key part of business
Lastly, it would help if you did not neglect safety; it is equally critical to a company’s success as customer support, inventory management, and financial planning. Only through a commitment to health and safety can you safeguard your most valuable asset, your employees.
In this case, over-preparation is never a bad thing. Workplace safety should be kept at the top of mind through regular meetings to review safety procedures and talk about prevention so that when something goes wrong, everyone is aware of what to do immediately.
It is your duty as an employer to protect your employees and ensure a safe working environment. Use these ten strategies to enhance the health and safety of your employees at work.
In the long run, businesses that care about the health and well-being of their employees are more likely to have employees who care about the happiness and well-being of the business as well.