Business owners often think of safety as a burdensome cost. But operating a safe workplace can come with a lot of benefits. Think of it more like insurance than as an outright cost – you spend a little now to make sure you don’t lose a lot down the road.
Small investments in safety can lead to significant returns over the long run. There are the obvious benefits of a safe workplace: Fewer shutdowns from accidents, less risk of lawsuits or regulatory intervention, and the lowered chance of missed days due to injury.
There are subtler benefits, as well.
A safe workplace nurtures workers’ self-confidence. They ultimately become more productive, because they don’t have to tiptoe around shoddy equipment or ease their way through potentially dangerous procedures. A focus on safety also helps with retention, as workers aren’t tempted to look for other opportunities at less dangerous facilities.
With these benefits in mind, here are five steps you can take to maximize your safety profile.
Extensive Initial Training
To instill a solid safety commitment from each of your employees, start by building a strong foundation. Give each of them an extensive initial training.
It may mean an extra expense upfront and a delay in getting your new employees into productive mode. But think of it as an investment. A penny spent now will become a nickel saved down the road, as your highly trained workers avoid costly accidents.
Ongoing Safety Education
Don’t stop your training at the initial hiring stage. Guarantee your workers have top-notch safety habits by providing regular, ongoing refresher classes.
This achieves two major goals. First, veteran employees stay up-to-date with new technology and evolving safety procedures. Second, reinforcing your safety edicts will ensure they stay fresh in your employees’ minds and will make clear your commitment to the topic.
Staying safe during normal, hum-drum days represents a relatively easy task. You have plenty of time to prepare and the day-to-day environment is mostly calm and controllable.
But what about when things go wrong? Do your employees know what to do when an incident occurs? Will they have the training necessary to control the damage and limit the risk of injury?
Make sure they do. Teach your employees what to do in case of various emergencies. Have written protocols where people can find them. That way, when something goes wrong, the accident doesn’t become a theater for dangerous improvisation.
You’re pretty confident in your employees. They’ve been well trained and you’ve made an effort to make their safety education an ongoing affair. But you still need to worry about your equipment.
Keeping machinery and other equipment properly maintained minimizes the chance of dangerous mechanical error. For cheaper items, replace the aging equipment before they become a problem. For larger, more expensive machines, run regular checks and make whatever upgrades and repairs are necessary.
Reasonable Output Quotas
Why do employees ignore safety protocols? Mostly because they want to get things done.
When you make productivity quotas, keep safety in mind. Don’t create a target that forces employees to cut corners. If an aggressive output goal leads to an accident, it will ultimately cost you more in the long run.
Safety should represent a key priority for all your employees. This is easy when you have the right employees. A top-flight recruiter, like Qualified Staffing, can help you find the perfect employees to maximize both safety and productivity. Contact Qualified Staffing today to find out more.