This article is contributed by Jamie Aldson.
Safe workplaces are not a coincidence. Rather, they are a reflection of good management. When safety is a priority and the staff takes active steps to plan a safe work environment, than a safe workplace will occur. Maintaining a safe workplace can be a bit challenging. But, if you are interested in keeping your employees safe and productive in your workplace, here are some workplace safety tips specifically for you.
Design a safe workplace
Designing your work area with safety in mind will ensure a safe, efficient and productive workplace. For example, how machines are positioned, where materials are staged and how product flows from one process to the next, should all be taken into consideration. Stressing the importance of safety at the workplace should be done on a regular basis.
No one knows more about the potential dangers on your production floor than the employees themselves. For that reason, you should include their input to engineer safety into their work areas. Similarly, you should mandate personal protection equipment to safeguard their health and well-being.
The most productive work spaces are clean, tidy and organized. Not only does this eliminate potential hazards from the work area, but it will also provide a more productive work environment for your employees. Always enforce cleanliness in the workplace.
Provide clear instructions
It is important that your employees know exactly what is expected of them in the workplace. You can do this through training as well as clear written and verbal instructions. You should also consider a safety program that includes basic safety instructions that each worker must read and acknowledge.
Encourage employee feedback
Safety should be everyone’s concern – not just yours. Encourage your employees to bring any type of safety concern to the management’s attention. It’s your responsibility to act on their concerns and eliminate the potential safety hazard. Remember, it’s cheaper to fix safety problems than to ignore them in the long run.
Monitor employees on the job
Although you may provide documented proper procedures for each workstation, different workers may perform the same task differently (or improperly). Therefore, it’s important to monitor employees on the job to see if they’re following safety procedures or if they’re taking shortcuts that could reduce safety.
Check machines regularly
It’s very important to monitor machinery on a daily or weekly basis. As the manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have a routine maintenance program in place so that your machines perform as well and safely as they can. If not, it’s your duty to enact a corrective action program.
Avoid unnecessary hazards
On a similar note, you should frequently monitor your workplace for any new equipment or materials that could pose a potential safety threat. Identify and eliminate these potential problems immediately. Employee safety should always be your main concern.
Review safety guidelines yearly
Inevitably, nothing will ever remain the same in your workplace. Staff and management will change, machines will be replaced, etc. That being said, your previous safety guidelines may no longer be sufficient anymore. You should revisit and modify your safety guidelines yearly in order to reflect your changing environment.
Author Bio: Jamie Aldson is a freelance writer and worker safety advocate. As the manager at an engineering firm, it is her responsibility to ensure that her factories are using proper machine guarding in order to protect the safety of their workers.
- Safe worker image courtesy of NathanReed via Flickr