Many managers look for ways to improve team efficiency and create a positive employee environment. This can often include rewards or making the office fun. However, these are not the only solutions for improving efficiency. Another way is to prioritize workplace safety. So, which areas should bosses focus on to ensure a safe environment for employees?
Checking your office premises is one of the easiest ways to ensure a safe environment for employees as well as any visitors, such as clients or investors. This point is especially vital if you are relocating your office to accommodate more staff.
While you can check the premises yourself, it is better to book a professional inspection to ensure you don’t miss anything. The inspector will identify and highlight any hazards, and you will need to solve these issues before you can bring your team in safely.
Once you have had your office inspected you will need to carry out a risk assessment to determine potential hazards and issues within the workplace. This assessment is different from an inspection that looks at broader problems, such as structural dangers. Instead, your risk assessment will consider how the office environment could be hazardous to your employees and any visitors.
These risks could include errand cables or tight walkways that can make it challenging to escape safely in an emergency. Your storage cupboard may need to be more organized safely and is at risk of toppling over. Fixing these problems goes a long way toward improving your workplace.
A tidy office promotes productivity and shows you and your employees have pride in their work. Therefore, it’s important to encourage your employees to keep the office clean and lead by example. Something as simple as keeping the workplace tidy and cleaning up after themselves will make the office look and feel cleaner and prevent potential health and safety issues.
Such issues can include rotting food that attracts pests (and generally makes the workplace unpleasant). You should also consider how desks and chairs are arranged when not using them. Are they obstructing walkways? Are they easy to spot in an emergency? If not, someone could risk becoming injured.
While you want your employees to maintain productivity and get their projects finished on time, you cannot–and should not–expect them to sit at their desks all day. Staying stationary can risk a range of health problems, such as poor posture or aches and pains around the neck and shoulders.
Similarly, a lack of mobility can encourage mental health struggles that affect your employees’ motivation and performance. Because of these risks, you must promote movement as much as possible.
Even if you believe your office is a haven, you must practice hazard response. Not only is it a legal requirement for many workplaces, but it also prepares your employees to react accordingly should something happen.
The last thing you want is for everyone to panic when the fire alarm goes off, so regular drills ensure everyone knows what to do and responds correctly without risking their safety.
Posting messages and aides is a simple but effective way to mitigate risk and hazards at any office. A lot of the safety training your employees learn will be forgotten, so posting reminders around the workplace should keep potential risks in their minds.
This approach is especially true if you work in a hazardous environment, such as a factory or warehouse. Constant reminders of how to act will reduce the number of accidents and maintain your workplace productivity.
Assigning employee roles is an excellent way to delegate some responsibility, improve their skills, and encourage professional development. It’s important to consider the qualities of a good safety leader when appointing one, as they should be authoritative and understand why safety measures are so crucial.
Furthermore, your safety lead should be in the office at all times, so anyone who works part-time or has hybrid working hours would not be suitable. Managers can also hold regular meetings with the safety lead and anyone else on the safety committee to determine how to further improve safety policies within the workplace.
A safe office is a happy office, so these steps should go a long way toward boosting your workplace productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction. Not only that, but they will also feel more comfortable and confident coming into work and some could even learn a little more about what it means to make the workplace safe.
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