As an employer, you have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to your employees. From training and development to providing all the necessary equipment for their job, there's a lot you need to think about. However, one of the most important aspects of the work environment is safety. Of course, the safety issues you need to consider as an employer will vary a lot depending on the type of workplace you run, yet even if you simply manage an office, safety must be one of your top priorities. Read on for some advice on how to make a safe working environment for your staff.
Have the right mindset
To begin with, you need to approach the question of safety with the right attitude. Too many unscrupulous employers try to get by either ignoring safety rules or just barely meeting the minimum standards – you want to do better. Aim to implement safety procedures that go above and beyond what's required to ensure that all of your employees are fully protected. After all, isn't that what you would want your employer to do for you?
Address fire safety
No matter what type of building you work in, fire safety is a factor that you must pay close attention to. Not only do you have a legal obligation in this regard, but it's also key for protecting lives and shielding your business from damage. You'll need to do a fire risk assessment and then put a detailed emergency plan in place for how to respond to fires. This includes having clearly marked escape routes, properly maintained fire doors, and working fire detection systems.
Put hygiene first
The recent COVID-19 pandemic brought home just how important hygiene is, and the workplace is no exception. In addition to having the rooms of your premises regularly cleaned by a professional team, you should also call in specialists regularly. For example, in order to maintain good air hygiene, you need annual ductwork cleaning to disinfect your building's air ventilation systems.
Buy ergonomic furniture
It's a well-known fact that sitting at a desk all day is bad for the human body. Not only does it keep people inactive, but it can also result in poor posture, back pain, shoulder ache, eye strain, and other similar complaints. While you can't eliminate all these risks completely, you can mitigate them by purchasing ergonomic chairs and computer equipment (such as keyboards) for your staff. If you have the budget for it, offering people standing desks can also be helpful.
Run staff training courses
Even if you've put the best possible safety procedures in place, it's of little use if your staff doesn't know how to maintain a safe working environment or what to do in an emergency. To counter this, run regular training courses on issues such as fire safety, have fire drills to practice evacuating, and make sure staff know how to use equipment appropriately (for example, not to overload electrical sockets). It's also useful to train employees on how to set up their desks and computers ergonomically – not only does this help them to avoid injury, it also reduces the sick days they take as a result!