If you’re a business owner, who understands that “Workplace Safety” is as important as your bottom line, then Congratulations! Sadly, you’re in the minority.
Entrepreneurs who aren’t Worried about Safety are Risking Too Much
In fact, a majority of entrepreneurs and business owners, especially small to medium business owners, don’t emphasize on workplace safety or best practices at work. For them, a severe injury or a workplace accident is a remote possibility that is not worth worrying about.
They’re willing to gamble with the health and safety of their employees. They falsely believe that they can take risks with safety, rather than allocating a part of the budget to prevent workplace accidents.
This is a costly gamble and very often ends up backfiring.
Safety need not be out of Reach, even for Businesses with Small Budgets
There is another category of business owners who wish to implement safety protocols and procedures but believe that it’ll end up being too expensive. They falsely assume that “Safety Training and Safe Practices” are only for corporate businesses that have deep pockets.
This is acceptable and understandable. Small businesses and start-ups very often have limited budgets. They have to be careful in picking and choosing where they allocate their limited funds.
The good news here is that workplace safety can be improved significantly without breaking the bank.
Here are a few approaches how any business, irrespective of the size of funds, can improve workplace safety dramatically, without huge budgets.
- Hire Smarter
This one is an absolute MUST. Most business owners when they exceed their sales targets or witness a sudden spike in business levels are tempted to make a quick hire, to keep up with the demand. Make sure to resist this urge.
Never make a hire that you end up regretting later.
Instead, whenever you hire a new employee, make sure to conduct in-depth interviews with all candidates and evaluate their attitude. Try to analyze whether they will take workplace safety seriously. Also, make sure to call up their previous employees and find out more about their work habits.
Also, never hire an unqualified person. An unqualified person, who has no prior experience with the kind of job you’re recruiting for, is likely to sustain more injuries than others.
- Take the Time to Train
Once you have hired the right person for the job, don’t put him directly on the task. Instead, make sure to provide the person with the proper training, before he starts work.
Even a highly experienced and skilled worker should be given detailed instructions before he starts the job. This ensures that your expectations and the employee’s understanding are on the same page.
If you or your employees follow specific techniques to make a particular job safer, make sure to share it with the new recruit. Never assume that the new employee will use common sense. Common sense isn’t always common practice. Make sure that you spell out your requirements and expectations.
Just sparing a few minutes every day to talk with your employees about safety can improve workplace safety by miles.
- Make Safety Compulsory
Just by making safety no more an option, you start to create a culture of safety at work. Convince your employees that there’s always time to do things the safe way and working unsafely is not acceptable in your workplace.
The next step is to practice what you preach. If employees see you compromising safety over productivity, they’re likely to do the same. Workers are more likely to follow what you do, rather than what you say.
So, if you want your vision of a “Safe Workplace” to come true, then it’s necessary to start with you.
- Have the Right Tools and Gear
Workplace safety will remain a long-distant dream unless you have the right tools and equipment. For instance, you can’t expect employees, working with dangerous tools to operate safely, if you don’t provide them with the right safety goggles, helmet, and other gear.
Remember that the cost you spend on safety glasses, steel-toed shoes are minuscule compared to the legal and medical expenses you have to provide if a worker gets injured in the workplace.
- Show that you value Workplace Safety
Every single action, however insignificant it might be, counts. For instance, if you praise a particular team for having completed the job, with no regards to best practices and workplace safety, then you’re sending the wrong signals. You’re subconsciously creating a workplace culture, that doesn’t focus on safety.
Instead, make sure to demonstrate to employees that you value safety. Recognise and appreciate workers who are keen to promote workplace safety.
- Brainstorm with your Employees
Ultimately, it’s your employees who will be involved in potentially risky jobs day in and day out. Make sure to conduct a brainstorming session with them to identify potential hazards and come up with creative ways to overcome them.
Get feedback from your employees. Ask them about potential hazards? What risks is part and parcel of their daily routine? Ask them to come up with innovative ways to make it safer.
This way you get your employees involved in safety procedures at work, right from the grassroots levels.
- Conduct a Safety Audit
While all the methods listed above help you on your path to a safe workplace, they don’t get the job done entirely. For this, you need the help of a safety professional. Seek professional help to conduct a thorough safety audit of your workplace.
This not only helps in identifying potential risks but also helps in eliminating them, by coming up with a robust plan that focuses on workplace safety.
The Bottom Line
Safety Practices make all the difference between running a successful business and risking your company’s future. Fortunately, you can implement safe practices at work without breaking the bank. Make sure to execute the steps listed here and get in touch with our safety experts, here at Totalika, India’s leading safety consultant, to help you create a customized safety plan for your business, in tune with your objectives and budgets.
Let’s get started on making Everyday Safe with Totalika!