Most organizations task the human resource department with safety responsibilities. HR professionals play an integral role in maintaining employee health and safety. Although the HR department is not expected to understand the technical aspects of workplace safety, they ought to know how to utilize existing resources to respond to employees’ safety concerns.
Create a Safety Culture
Take a moment to think about in what ways and how often you address the importance of safety to staff members. Overexertion is the primary cause of workplace accidents related to carrying, pulling, pushing, and lifting objects. Overexertion costs employers approximately $14 billion annually. Similarly, falls represent 19.3% of workplace injuries. Without appropriate safety plans in the workplace, businesses have high costs that affect revenue and productivity.
The first step of developing a workplace safety culture is by establishing the root cause of most workplace injuries. The HR department should also conduct regular surveys for potential safety risks and hazards in work design and equipment. Consulting experts for process safety management services is an effective way to gain insight into potential hazards and injury prevention. Once HR has a clear picture of major workplace safety concerns, you can engage employees to create a workplace culture where safety is a top priority.
Simple Workplace Safety Tips
Engage the employees with comprehensive training for preventing injuries while emphasizing the need to wear PPE’s. Ensure that all staff members can access and complete safety training for their different positions. Rewards are effective ways to encourage employees to maintain workplace safety. Give out small rewards to workers that follow safety requirements and policies that, in turn, keeps them motivated to help in reducing the causes of workplace injuries.
It is crucial for the HR department to partner with occupational health and safety experts for regular insights into areas and equipment with a high risk of injury. More so, occupational clinicians aid HR in improving workplace ergonomics by performing performance evaluations to enable you to screen potential candidates for physically demanding positions.
Invest in simple labels and signs to communicate crucial information to employees, such as hazard areas, equipment, and proper procedures. These labels and signs are cheap and effective tools to remind and warn even the most experienced employee. HR should ensure that workers keep the workplace clean and neat to avoid clutter that increases the risk of unnecessary accidents.
Implement workplace safety protocols from the start, which means recruiting qualified candidates that pay attention to details. Conduct regular evaluations to ensure that all employees follow safety requirements outlined in the protocol and perform their roles per the procedures. HR should keep an open dialogue, making it easy for workers to engage you with safety concerns. Encourage employees to report hazards immediately and help in identifying areas of concern. Conduct regular meetings with employers to review safety procedures and discuss preventative measures to prioritize workplace safety.
Tips for Workplace Social Distancing
Social distancing is a sure method to prevent the transmission of infections. HR should have tools in place to enforce this distance in the workplace. Ensure the floors are marked to guide employees on social distancing. Put wall signs in designated areas to encourage and remind employees to maintain distance. For instance, you can have a sign that reads, “Thank You for Keeping Your Distance” in aisles or near each employee’s workstation.
Mount highly visible banners on the outside or at each entrance that contain vital information to remind employees on social distancing as they enter the workplace. Use infographics and posters in a fun and unique way to attract people’s attention and educate them on proper hygiene practices such as regular hand washing. Posters also act as quick reminders of safety procedures.
Whatever resource you use to communicate the need for safety in the workplace, ensure it is universally understood. For a diverse workforce, HR should provide information in a language that each employee can comprehend. Lax attitudes concerning workplace safety pose serious dangers to organizations such as the loss of workforce, litigation issues, and injury compensation costs. It is HR’s role to instill safety consciousness in the workforce through safety programs and procedures.