As a business owner you are likely aware of OSHA standards when it comes to observing workplace safety and providing a healthy atmosphere for your employees, clients, vendors, and even the consumer public, depending on the type of business you operate. But you may want to go the extra mile to ensure that your facilities observe even stricter standards when it comes to health and safety. Here are a few tips that will help to turn your facilities into the safe and healthy workplace that benefits everyone on your payroll.
- Understand legal obligations. Creating and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace begins with knowing what is required under the law so that you can meet your obligations and remain in compliance. Of course you can elevate your efforts to make the workplace safer and more conducive to good health, but you need a benchmark to begin and the government provides it with rules and regulations meant to protect your workforce.
- Stay on top of potential hazards. Whether you discover that mold in the ductwork could be causing the ongoing respiratory disorders that many of your employees are suffering, you find a leak in the roof that has compromised your structure, or you see that some or all of your staff is carrying out a procedure in an incorrect and unsafe manner, you need to deal with potential health and safety hazards post haste if you want to avoid accident, injury, illness, and of course, liability.
- Get environmental. You may not classify your company as green, per se, but there are definitely eco-friendly moves you might make that can up the ante when it comes to health and safety concerns in your office. As an example, you could increase insulation, airtightness, and ventilation in your building, even installing an air purifier in your HVAC system, as a way to regulate the temperature and decrease the germs and other pollutants floating around in the air and getting everyone sick. You might also try non-VOC paint and organic wool carpeting as a way to reduce potential allergens and toxins from polluting your interior air.
- Listen to employees. Your workers in the trenches will likely be the first to spot problems when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, and you should rely on them to tell you when something is wrong. You’ll need to engender an environment of trust by which you take their suggestions to heart and implement them when appropriate and advisable. But this can provide you with an excellent resource for spotting potential issues early and nipping them in the bud before they get out of hand.
- Plan for emergency situations. Natural disasters and other emergencies can arise on any given day, and if you want to create a safe workplace, you need to have plans for evacuations and other types of emergency procedures mapped out. Thanks to helpful companies like SafetyBanners.org you can order a number of safety stickers to place throughout your office, but you may also want to have a map of your floor plan with exits and escape routes clearly marked, posted on every floor to ensure that your workers make it out safely in the event of a disaster of some sort. And of course, you should run regular emergency drills.