The primary objective of a workplace safety regulation or any workplace safety resources you may have as a company is to ensure that safety is achieved in every business environment. This encompasses both preventing injuries and accidents from happening and complying with state and federal safety regulations. The act helps address issues that may pose a danger to your employees, well before any unfortunate incidents occur. Here are four tips for identifying unsafe behaviors, opportunities for improvement, and gathering information to help you make informed safety decisions for your small business.
1) Comply With OSHA Regulations
All businesses, irrespective of the number of employees, are supposed to adhere to federal OSHA regulations. However, in regions with federally certified plans, the state regulations may apply although the standards must be as relevant as OSHA’S standards.
A small business has to conform to the general industry standards that focus on aspects such as first aid, ventilation, protective equipment like gloves and goggles, and fire safety, among others. Under OSHA, it is also your duty to ensure there is safety in your workplace by keeping abreast of all the old and new safety standards published by the government.
For a starter, you can hire safety professionals, such as insurance specialists, to assess your business and tell you the areas to improve on. They will also advise you on the best safety equipment and incident tracking software to adopt for your business to prevent accidents at the workplace.
2) Inspect Your Workplace
As the business owner, you should regularly monitor your business to identify any potential hazards and deal with them. For example, if you own a workshop or construction business make sure your walkways are stable and do not show signs of wear. If they do then it is time to replace them, you can find similar ones available from Platforms and Ladders and other equipment stores. If not, then the walkway could one-day collapse and potentially injure someone. While doing this, ensure your employees are aware of what you are doing and what is expected of them with any new procedure or equipment you buy. It would be best if you also created a safety plan to eliminate or minimize any potential risks. In addition, employees should know how they could access the first aid kit in case of an accident.
Also, ensure tools and equipment are properly maintained and ready to use. You have probably heard or witnessed cases where electrical malfunctions have caused a fire. Therefore, check that the electrical system, among other safety concerns, is in order and address any potential fault. One of the best ways to do this is to organize an EICR Test so you can demonstrate to your employees that they are working in a safe environment.
3) Train Your Employees
Ensure that all your employees have access to safe work procedures and well-written instructions on how to use various work equipment. Also, regularly supervise them to ensure they are following the laid down procedures. You can also organize drills to train workers on what to do in case of an accident. For example, they should learn how to use fire extinguishers and exit strategies in case of a fire.
4) Incident Tracking Software
This is computer software that keeps track of accidents and illnesses at your workplace. It cuts down on a lot of paperwork that can lead to inconsistency in data entry or even data loss. As a result, you could be risking falling behind on OSHA scrutiny for not properly documenting and assigning corrective actions for every event.
This software helps businesses report, track, and investigate health and safety cases in the workplace, including but not limited to:
- Accidents and injuries
- Near misses
- Slip and falls
- Exposure to hazardous substances
- Other OSHA reportable incidents
Although not all incident tracking software is alike, it’s thus vital you find a quality, cost-effective option for your small business.
“At one time reporting incidents after an accident was laborious and inefficient”, says David Rowland, the head of marketing at Engage EHS. “This is not the case anymore, with new technology such as incident reporting software now able to save you time and, just as importantly, money”.
Ensuring a safe work environment should be a priority for every business owner. For a small enterprise, maintaining a safe workplace could be a little costly since it involves buying safety equipment, hiring safety professionals, adopting incident tracking software, and insuring workers. However, it is worth it since it only ensures the safety of your employees, but also saves you from high-cost implications in case of an accident.