Worker safety conditions cover a wide range of issues as they include all of the physical and psychological conditions under which an employee’s work is performed. Encompassing things like the working environment, physical demands, and working time, working conditions may include lighting, physical strain, and exposure to extreme temperatures. No matter what type of work is involved, when employees have a good working environment, employee morale is high, company performance is improved, and employee retention rates increase.
With its record-breaking heat, the summer of 2022 has highlighted the perils of extreme heat concerning working conditions. In the U.S., more yearly deaths are attributed to heat than to any other severe weather event, including floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries for workers. However, heat isn’t the only extreme working condition employees may face.
Extreme conditions can occur indoors and outdoors and, depending on the industry, may include excessive noise, low visibility, uneven walking surfaces, remote work sites, working around moving machinery, and many other situations. Working conditions are often at the core of an employee and employer relationship, and to ensure a positive working environment, businesses need to make worker safety a top priority.
How can a small business protect worker safety?
Protecting worker safety starts by complying with OSHA standards. Beyond that, a small business can protect worker safety by providing safety training, ensuring employees have the proper personal protective equipment, and maintaining the work environment such as the company building and property.
Ensure Worker Safety with Proper Training
Regardless of the industry you’re in, it’s essential to provide safety training both to new hires as well as existing employees. No matter the type of workplace environment, every employee can benefit from safety training. Employees in an office environment may need to be trained regarding ergonomic posture at their desks, reminded to take regular breaks, or shown the location of a first aid kit or other safety equipment.
In a more hazardous industry, such as construction or manufacturing, it’s critical to provide safety training for operating machinery and equipment as misuse or mishandling can lead to injury. Some machinery, like forklifts, require specific training and sometimes legal certification to operate.
Workplace safety training is one of the best investments a business can make as it has the potential to eliminate risks and hazards that could cause injuries or significant property damage. Companies can help keep their workplaces safe by training employees on key processes, equipment uses, and emergency procedures.
Give Employees Proper Personal Protective Equipment
In addition to safety training, employees must have the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required by their job. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is necessary to prevent your employees’ harm and provide them with a safe workplace. Over the last few years, employers have seen PPE can apply to various jobs and industries.
PPE helps employees do their job effectively while reducing their danger. In some industries, this equipment may include gloves, foot protection, eye protection, hard hats, or earplugs. In other industries, PPE may consist of masks or face shields. Even within the same company, different employees may require safety equipment due to their varying job responsibilities.
Beyond providing PPE, companies can take additional steps to remind employees about workplace health and safety. These reminders can include posters or flyers posted around the workplace to raise safety awareness.
Maintain a Safe Working Environment
Employees spend a significant portion of their time at work, which makes maintaining a safe work environment an important component of worker safety. Companies can keep the work environment safe by scheduling routine maintenance, ensuring the building has proper ventilation, keeping stairwells well lit, and removing tripping hazards. A safe work environment extends beyond the building onto the property, where they may need to repair uneven sidewalks or trim overgrown trees.
Of course, some industries must follow specific requirements to protect workers from dangers unique to their industry. Construction sites, for example, must provide fall protection for employees. An employer’s various states and jurisdictions may have additional regulations regarding a safe work environment.
Employees are instrumental to business success, which makes worker safety a key problem for companies. At Safeguard, improved worker safety means increased productivity, improved customer service, and money savings from fewer injuries. Your Safeguard Advisor can provide you with the right products, services, and planning that make managing your business easier and more effective—Call 855-778-3124 to get started.
- Businesses need to prioritize worker safety to ensure a positive working environment.
- Businesses can protect worker safety by providing training and proper personal protective equipment.
- When employees have a good working environment, employee morale is high, company performance is improved, and employee retention rates are increased.
- You can rely on your Safeguard Advisor for personalized products and solutions that fit your business.