Increase your employees’ productivity and prevent workplace-related injuries at the same time. Know the role the HR department plays to ensure employees’ safety, the importance of creating a safe and friendly environment, and how it boosts workers’ morale!
Working eight to ten hours a day, five days a week is very tiring for any employee. The Human Resource (HR) department plays a crucial role in making sure that they are providing their employees with a safe and healthy working environment. When workers feel that their needs are well taken care of, they commit more to their work which in turn contributes to higher productivity.
On the other hand, companies spent about $170 million on work-related injuries. This means businesses are losing profit every year because of such injuries. However, companies that follow the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recommended policy tend to reduce injury-related costs by 20 – 40 percent.
While employers pay for compensation and medical costs, the good news is, these injuries can be avoided. This involves implementing safety measures. As a result, companies will be able to save money, boost their worker’s morale, and improve work satisfaction. All these things increase productivity.
What we’re about to show you are employee safety tips every HR department should know! And these steps require very little time and effort.
Evaluate the risks
Before you work on creating a safe working environment, you first need to identify the dangers involved. Evaluating the risks is the best way to determine the hazards. Once you identify these risks, you can get a clearer view of who is in danger and how it could happen.
“The best way to manage risk is to attempt to spot it and plan accordingly before it happens”, according to David Rowland, head of marketing at Engage EHS. This is why risk assessment software is now so important to a business. Using this software, you can make plans, spot potential risks, and then do everything you can to minimize their impact.
Next, you need to create a checklist that you can refer to in the future. Sort the items into categories like slips, trips, falls, electrical hazards, etc. You also need to add insufficient emergency procedures or organizational flaws in connection with the workplace environment.
Only when you have this kind of information that you’ll be able to work on control measures. You also need to do a follow-up on risk evaluations every time there’s a:
- New equipment, procedures, substance, or any potential threats comes into the workplace.
- A change occurs that could affect the existing hazards
- Every time an incident happens that might involve a risk factor
Create written guidelines
Well-written guidelines will prevent any overlooking reasons or speculations in the workplace. However, when writing a guideline, the rule of thumb is to break it down into three sections namely, the company’s general guidelines on health and safety in the vicinity, an explanation for who is accountable for such actions, and lastly, a section dedicated for detailed practices and procedures.
You have to make sure that you clearly described the objectives. Also important, list the actionable, specific statements and explain the expectations for both employees and the management to follow if ever they encounter unsafe practices or the hazard itself. You need to conclude the consequences that will follow should an incident happen.
Place a number on all these procedures for reference and wordings should provide enough detail. Use simple, concise and straightforward language. This will eliminate confusion. However, these procedures should comply with the legal requirements and standards of your organization.
Organize safety volunteers
Before you post the written guidelines, make sure to organize a panel of employee-volunteers. This committee should be well-informed about the conditions in their areas and let them communicate the information to their colleagues.
Also important that you provide safety manuals for the volunteers and let the group review the content. Encourage them to suggest additional safety measures that they deem important or they are concerned with. Remember, employee safety is essential when creating formal safety guidelines.
In order to maintain an effective safety committee, you should consider the following tips:
- Focus on progress, not perfection
- Plan committee meetings in advance
- Rotate the volunteers either every quarter, six months, depending on your company needs
Encourage open communication in the workplace
Here’s a sad truth. According to a survey conducted by Blind, an anonymous workplace app, about 83% of employees do not trust their HR department. This is important! In order to build a safe work environment, your employees need to communicate comfortably with the HR department.
Employees should not feel scared when reporting a problem, especially with safety concerns. As HR, you need to find a way to encourage open communication with your workers. One of the best ways to do this is to have one-on-one meetings. The key is to create an inviting space for your workers.
This can be achieved by engaging them in lunch, talking to them during breaks, or inviting them to relaxation activities. You need to encourage your staff and management to have deep conversations instead of eating at their desks.
When they’re opening up, make sure you address their concerns immediately. This will assure them that you are listening to their concerns.
Develop a stress-free environment
According to a report from The American Institute of Stress, companies in the United States lose about $300 billion from stress-related costs. This doesn’t include reduced productivity, absences, accidents, and injuries.
However, the best way to prevent this is to become proactive. You need to prepare for the stressful situations. This will allow you to evaluate existing needs so that you can take immediate action when it arrives. Also, try to identify the values, rewards, and expectations of your employees. Are they given the recognition they deserve, do they feel supported, are they overwhelmed, etc. As HR, you need to improve the atmosphere of the workplace to improve your employee’s safety, commitment, and morale.
Offer safety incentives
Giving away an appealing incentive will help increase awareness for your employees. This also shows that the HR department is serious about the safety of their workers. However, when rewarding positive behavior, you need to tailor the incentives according to employee needs and not on the management.
In the same manner, establishing a clear-cut guideline for measuring performance should come first before you launch the incentive program. Your incentive program should also encourage proactive behaviors like attending safety meetings and reporting potential safety hazards.
Implement the use of a learning management system
Otherwise known as LMS, a learning management system is a tool for documenting, administration, reporting, tracking, delivery of educational materials, automation, training programs, and more.
Employee safety training is important. However, your employees need to be continuously refreshed with their understanding of the procedures. This also applies to the continuous learning of new information.
Using an effective yet easy-to-use learning management software can help you achieve this task. This will ensure that you and your employees will be able to administer, track, and document the safety protocols while improving your employees’ understanding and retention of the information.
Likewise, a good quality learning management system will make safety guidelines fun and engaging. It also guarantees effortless integration, strong reporting capabilities, security, and pricing that fits your organization’s budget.