Why is safety important in the workplace? Why should you be concerned with workplace safety?
As an employer or small business owner, your most valuable asset is your employees! Each employer has a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for its employees, no matter how many employees you have. In addition to legal requirements, having a safe and healthy workplace is vital to employee retention, employee satisfaction and your bottom line as a business owner!
Five steps to start creating a safe workplace today (according to the Best Human Resources Company in Tulsa):
- First, make sure you are complying with OSHA regulations. Under OSHA, which is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, businesses are responsible for providing a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and complying with standards, rules, and regulations issued under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. You must make sure your employees have and use safe tools, equipment, and PPE (personal protective equipment). You must make sure your workplace conditions meet OSHA standards and that you have a procedure for reporting unsafe conditions. You are responsible for training your employees on the safety risks of their job and for posting specific posters. OSHA has many requirements and CYB, the Best Human Resources Company in Tulsa, can help you weed through the regulations if you need assistance. OSHA also has record-keeping requirements and reporting requirements for certain types of injuries. We can also help you administer your Worker’s Compensation which is required in the state of Oklahoma.
- Secondly, institute a background screening process. A huge aspect of creating a safe workplace is hiring the right candidates and doing the proper due diligence prior to hiring. For most organizations, this involves a background screen even if it is at a base level. An employer could be liable after a workplace injury if they “should have known” that someone that they hired or employed was a risk to their employees. Running background screens on all of your employees is the best way to avoid negligent hiring claims. To prevent these claims, you should not make exceptions to your policy. Favoritism opens your company up to claims of discrimination. Remember that if you make exceptions for even one employee, you could get discrimination claims when subsequent employees don’t get an exception. In addition, do NOT knowingly hire an applicant who could be a risk to your current employees. That could be considered negligent hiring. If you are unsure of how to interpret a background check, call CYB the Best Human Resources Company in Tulsa!
- A third step to take is to create a robust workplace violence policy. This policy should be included in your employee handbook. The workplace violence policy should be taught to all new hires and all employees should receive regular training and reminders on the policy. You should clearly state that your organization has a zero-tolerance for violence policy. CYB can help you craft an expertly worded workplace violence policy for your specific organization.
- The fourth step you should take is to create a policy for reporting injuries and unsafe working conditions. Injuries should always be reported to management immediately. There should be no excuses or exceptions to this rule. Make sure your employees know how to report an injury and that they will not be punished or retaliated against for reporting an injury. You also need to make sure there is a clear reporting path that they can follow. What should they do if Human Resources is out of the office for the day? What if their manager is on vacation? What are the steps to follow after an incident has occurred? Do you have a plan of which occupational health clinic or urgent care to send employees to so that you can avoid the costly emergency room if necessary? All this should be lined out and clearly explained to employees on the first day of work at your company. You also need a Standard Operating Procedure for reporting injuries or unsafe conditions. Having a policy and procedure, however, are not enough, if they are not followed! The policy needs to be followed every time and reinforced by top management at your organization. Employees should clearly understand that if you see something, you should say something! CYB, the Best Human Resources Company in Tulsa, will help you create an injury reporting policy and procedure that is clear, easy-to-follow and works for YOUR organization.
- Lastly, you should be sure to investigate all safety incidents. Incident investigations should focus on identifying and correcting the root cause of the incident, not on finding fault or blame. This demonstrates that you, the business owner, are committed to a safe and healthy workplace. During an investigation, you can ask questions such as – If a safety rule or procedure was not followed, why was the procedure or rule not followed? Was the procedure out-of-date? Was safety training inadequate? After completing an investigation, be sure to make the necessary changes to your equipment, training, or procedures to prevent similar future events from occurring. If you need help with incident investigations, the Best Human Resources Company in Tulsa would be happy to help you!
Ultimately, the goal is to foster a culture of workplace safety! This can be a complex and difficult task. It is a long-term goal, but one that you can take steps toward today. Some ways to make safety part of your organization’s culture are to have buy-in from your top executives, including you – the company owner, marketing your safety campaign and making employees aware, getting involvement and input from employees from every level of your organization involved – especially floor employees, and creating recognition programs that reward safe behaviors. Let us know if you would like help from the Best Human Resources Company in Tulsa to work towards creating a culture of workplace safety! We can help you step-by-step through this process, including conducting trainings and devising effective ways to sustain your safety efforts.
Email one of our HR Professionals at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-833-CYB-ASAP today! And let your friends know that for new clients, we offer a FREE HR health assessment. We love referrals! Follow the Best Human Resources Company in Tulsa on Facebook and Instagram and let us know how we can help your business grow today. 😊