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Employers Tips for Keeping Workers Safe

When you run a company, you have to do more than think about how your business is going to make money. You must take an active role in keeping your employees safe at work, as you could be held responsible for anything that goes wrong, leading to an injury.

So, what can you do as an employer to make sure your workers are safe? Here are a few ideas:

Have a Clean Workspace Policy:

Having tools, cords, boxes and other things out of place in an office or shop means there are many more chances that someone can kick something and hurt their foot, trip over, or have something fall on them leading to a serious injury. A good rule to implement is that every item of equipment should have a storage place that is easy and safe to access. Ensure the Clean Workspace Policy states that each item must be returned to its storage place when not in use.

While this may sound like you’re playing mum and telling your employees to ‘pick up their room’, you are actually training them to be responsible for their safety and that of others. A clean workplace is often a safer workplace.

Appropriate Safety Equipment:

Every career field has safety equipment that should be available and in use to keep your employees safer and healthier on the job.

In an office it may be ergonomically correct chairs and table items for those who are at a desk all day.

In a shop it could be protective face, eye, ear or even body gear to lessen the chance of serious injury on the job.

Ensure each worker has access to the proper equipment, and completes the mandatory training on how to use it correctly. You would be amazed at how many employees don’t know quite how to use the safety gear they have been issued.

Additionally, make it a policy that all workers use the gear provided. It’s also amazing the amount of workers who’ve had the training and have the equipment, but because of an “She’ll be right, mate” attitude fail to make use of it. During training, stress that it is company policy to use the safety equipment provided.

Proper Job Training:

Do your employees really know what they are supposed to be doing? Sure, they are nodding as you give instructions, but it is possible that they just don’t want to stand out as the one who doesn’t understand what is going on?

Make sure your instructions are clear. As different people learn in different ways it would be wise to supply workers with a variety of training methods.

Basically the human absorbs and processes information:

  • visually (watching)
  • auditorally (hearing)
  • kinesthetically (doing)
  • olfactorally (smelling)
  • gustatorily (tasting)
  • auditory digitally (talking to themselves or thinking)

Please excuse the geek speak! Obviously the ‘smelling’ or ‘tasting’ parts aren’t always a part of the industry you’re in… unless of course you’re in perhaps the floral or hospitality industries?

Have you ever had a trainee that you ‘told’ how to do the job – but they still didn’t get it? Basically, your instructions went in one ear and out the other? Or have you ever used equipment that you didn’t quite ‘get’ until you actually held the equipment and did a ‘dummy run’ before turning it on? It’s because the training you were provided with didn’t match the way your brain likes to take in information.

When supplying training cover the different styles of learning so you’re sure your worker has absorbed what you’re attempting to teach them.

  • Show them how to do the job and offer them diagrams/charts showing the activity
  • Tell them as you’re showing them
  • Get them to hold the equipment and get the ‘feel’ of it
  • Have them experience the smell of, or the taste of what they have to achieve (if applicable)
  • Give them written instructions or ask them to explain the job back to you

If they are working with any sort of equipment, make sure they are completely trained on those pieces of equipment. You should also have regular refresher training sessions to make sure they know how everything works and are following the safe work practices they were originally taught. Many people create their own shortcuts over time, but these are not always the safest methods of working.

Making your workplace a safe one is not an impossible task. It simply takes common sense, an understanding of how to communicate with your workers, and a little action to back it up.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

Comments (1)

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  1. OSHAPro says:

    Worker safety training is of upmost importance. OSHA training is one of the types of e-learning that has really taken off. A person may receive their OSHA 10 or 30 hour training card by taking their online OSHA 10 hour training and 30 hour training courses at sites like http://www.osha10hourtraining.com or at http://www.osha30hourtraining.com . They receive quality training accepted by OSHA for online delivery, and receive the same exact OSHA wallet card as if they took the course live. This has really opened the door for many companies who could not justify an on site class due to cost or logistical challenges, and has really helped out individuals who wanted the OSHA training just for themselves. Very economical when compared to on site OSHA training, too.

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