ImageBusiness owners have a long list of things they are responsible for; encouraging work safety among their employees is one of these. Not only do they need to do this for the safety of their employees, but also for their own liability. Safety also comes in many forms, from physical safety from injury to personal safety from harassment.

There are a number of ways to go about this; here are a few ideas…

 Provide education about work safety

Business owners should be sure to offer education about work safety. Work with the HR department if you have one; if you are a small business owner, you may need to take this on yourself. You can do this in a day with an in-house meeting, or provide this education on an ongoing basis. Cover topics like:

  • Following basic standard safety procedures
  • Dress codes
  • Reporting suspicious behavior
  • Reporting threatening/inappropriate behavior
  • Implementing a safety program
  • Creating a safety manual showing and describing safe and unsafe procedures for particular jobs

 Encourage (or require) appropriate clothing

We all know hard hats are required on construction sites; make sure your employees’ clothing suits their jobs. Lab coats, goggles, and gloves are important safety measures for anyone working with chemicals or in labs; other appropriate, and not appropriate, clothing should be discussed and codes implemented depending on the business.

Display safety material

It is important to display relevant safety material in visible areas. Workplace safety posters are valuable ways to encourage work safety, as employees can refer to them. Depending on your business, you will need relevant safety posters. Post fire exit routes, CPR procedures, and other security measures as well.

 Provide safe reporting and quick response for harassment, threats, or abuse

Letting your employees know that harassment, threats, and abuse will not be tolerated does wonders for providing a safe and productive environment. You want to make sure all of your employees feel safe, whether from other employees, customers, or anyone else they may come in contact with at work. Have a confidential way they can report any issues.

Just as you want employees to report any abuse, you need to be ready to take appropriate measures when they do. You never know what may be a harmless incident that was misunderstood or what may be a dangerous situation brewing; you need to find out and take care of it.

Review general safety procedures

Go over general safety procedures like reporting suspicious behavior and maintaining a secure environment. Depending on your business, you will have different procedures, but make sure employees are aware of and follow them; for example, keeping doors locked when necessary, what to do if they notice suspicious people or packages, and precautions to take if working alone.

 Maintain a safe environment

As the business owner, it’s your responsibility to maintain a safe working environment. Have appropriate locks on doors, fix broken windows or exposed wires, and keep the environment clean and safe. Keep a first aid kit on hand at minimum; ideally you should have a first aid station and someone on staff who is trained in CPR and other emergency procedures.

Business owners have tons of responsibility, and maintaining a safe working environment should be high on the list. By doing the above things, you encourage work safety and help create that safe environment to keep your employees, you, and your business safe.