Under Federal law, all employees are entitled to a safe workplace provided by their employer. As a business owner, your responsibilities include preventing hazards, providing adequate safety training to avoid injury and illness, and recognizing your workers’ rights if an accident should occur. While these duties may seem onerous, protecting your employees can bring many other benefits to your business beyond keeping workers safe from harm. Personal wellbeing can be impacted by work in a negative way, but with the implementation of appropriate health and safety measures, you can improve workplace culture and raise employee morale. In addition, safety can be good for business by reducing absenteeism, increasing productivity and lowering costs associated with illness and injury.

Supporting Workers’ Rights

Even without the support of their boss, workers have a legal right to help and compensation if they are injured at work. However, when a responsible employer offers a prompt and practical response to any accident or injury, it can make a positive difference to an employee’s health, safety and wellbeing at work. Establishing an accident protocol that is shared with all employees will ensure that workers gain access to any necessary medical treatment as soon as possible. In addition, correctly reporting any health and safety incidents and carrying out a thorough investigation will not only help with a workers’ compensation claim but could also prevent a similar incident occurring in the future.

Providing Safety Training

Accidents and injuries in the workplace can also be prevented through the provision of safety training to all employees. Staff who are kept up-to-date with safety regulations and approved practices are able to identify potential hazards and either avoid them completely or deal with them competently, and with minimal risk to their health and wellbeing.  Safety training should be implemented in any workplace setting and can range from asking employees to keep offices free of clutter to providing comprehensive instruction on the use of heavy machinery in a factory.  As well as keeping employees out of harm’s way, safety training can improve morale, reduce downtime due to absenteeism and lower insurance and workers’ compensation costs.

Carrying Out Safety Inspections

Training for employees can only be properly effective in helping them to avoid accidents if their workplace is also safe. Regular safety inspections are essential in order to identify safety issues and ensure that the working environment remains free from hazards. Routine checks of any form of equipment, from a photocopier in an office to scaffolding on a construction site, will confirm that they are safe to use. With the use of a comprehensive safety checklist, every inspection will be thorough and consistent, while clearly documenting the results means that any necessary updates to safety measures or equipment are carrie out promptly.
Investment in safety protocols, training and inspections not only protects employees from potential hazards in the working environment but it can also improve the workplace culture, productivity and efficiency of a business.

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