If you want your team to remain productive over the long haul, then you need to place their wellbeing front and center on your priorities list. And that starts with investing in a safe environment at work.
In case you need some convincing, consider that more than three million workplace injuries happen across the U.S. each year, to the tune of almost $250 million in business costs. While workplace injuries can be costly, investing in workplace safety actually yields an impressive return on investment: For every dollar spent on safety, companies can enjoy $6.15 in returns.
For the wellbeing of your employees and your company’s bottom line, it’s time to make workplace safety a priority. Here are six strategies for doing just that.
Institute safety plans.
It would be impossible to understate the value of having a plan in place should an emergency strike. Without safety plans, your team is at a much higher risk in the event of a fire, break-in, and other emergencies. It’s important to develop corporate and site-specific plans for keeping employees safe every day—but it’s not enough to write these plans and consider your work done. Instead, you must communicate with and train employees so they fully understand how to implement said plans and what the chain of command looks like. Hold regular drills for different emergencies to reinforce this training.
Keep a tidy office.
Maintaining a neat and clean workplace will help protect workers’ safety in a number of ways. For example, Hygienic working conditions help control the spread of illnesses. Making sure equipment is stored properly (e.g. tying up loose cords instead of letting them drape across the floor) reduces the risk of slips and falls. Reducing office clutter makes it easy for your employees to move safely to exits in the case of an emergency. To ensure that the office remains tidy, regularly conduct hazard inspections with an eye toward everything being in its proper place.
Maintain a well-stocked first aid kit.
This is one of the simplest ways to provide assistance should employees sustain minor injuries on the job. From small cuts to headaches, a well-stocked first aid kit allows employees to receive immediate treatment and relief. Check the first aid kit regularly to make sure supplies aren’t dwindling, and re-stock as needed so you’re never out of band aids or other first aid supplies just when somebody really needs them.
Invest in a security system.
If you want to heighten your workers’ safety and the security of your business’ customer data and financial assets, this is a no-brainer. There is a huge range of security systems on the market today, including voice-activated systems that allow you to control the office’s temperature, lighting, locks, and alarm system remotely and with nothing but the sound of your voice. These innovations make it easier than ever to maintain a fully operational security system, which can help your employees feel like management has their backs.
Provide ergonomic workstations.
Desk workers are prone to back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, which can lead to absenteeism and reduced productivity in addition to personal discomfort. Luckily, the risk of these conditions can be substantially minimized by providing employees with ergonomic workstations. Make sure each workstation is comfortable, provides adequate back support, includes wrist rests to minimize the risk of carpal tunnel, and is adequately lit to reduce eye strain. Ideally, workstations should be customizable so employees can tailor them to their own bodies.
Check your air quality.
In order to maintain employees’ health and wellbeing over the long haul, it’s essential that the air you expose them to is fresh and clean. That means proper ventilation (both natural and mechanical) is key. When it comes to maintaining your mechanical ventilation systems (such as fans) and air conditioners, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to a “T” in order to make sure these units improve the office’s air quality, not degrade it.
In order to make sure these tasks are completed on a regular basis, consider creating a workplace Safety Committee to provide accountability. Baking a safety-first mentality into the company culture will help ensure your team stays safe over the long haul.