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Workplace safety is an important topic that sadly doesn’t get talked about enough. Most companies just tick the boxes required of them by law but fail to actually consider how safe their workspace is and how it affects their employees.

We’ve already discussed workplace health and safety in 2021, when the world was just starting to open up again and we started going back to the office. Here’s what you should do in 2024 to improve it.

Ask Employees to Speak Up

The first thing you can do to improve workplace safety is ask your staff to pitch in. Ask them what they have noticed might be an issue or a hazard. Ask them what they think could be done to make the space safer and more productive.

Have an open-door policy when it comes to safety. Any employee should be able to reach out at any point should they notice a safety risk. You can also establish an emergency contact system that will alert you instantly if need be.

Identify Obvious Safety Hazards

You should then consider what the most obvious safety hazards might be in your place of work.

For example, is the building you work from older, and could there be issues with the wiring? Do you live in an area prone to thunderstorms? Do you have stairs in the space that could be a fall hazard?

Call in an expert to analyze and assess the situation. Their trained eyes will be much better trained to spot a safety risk than you will. They can also advise you on the best way to alleviate these risks.

Have All Required Safety Equipment

Make sure you have all the safety equipment required of you by law. This will naturally mean fire extinguishers and first aid kits. It can also mean more complex equipment, depending on the nature of your business.

Perhaps even more importantly, make sure that every member of staff knows how to handle said equipment. Provide some practical training and demonstrate the right procedures. Don’t just assume that everyone is familiar with handling a fire extinguisher. For example, they may not know that different ones need to be used to put out electrical fires.

Install Driveway Mirrors

You wouldn’t believe how much safer your workplace can be if you install a driveway mirror. It will ensure there are no accidents in the parking lot and that everyone can join the road safely.

This is especially important if you have a large parking lot or if there is a lot of pedestrian traffic in the area. You want both drivers and pedestrians to spot an oncoming car in a matter of seconds.

Make Sure You Are Complying with All Laws and Regulations

Check that you are complying with all the relevant laws and regulations in your area regarding workplace safety. In the UK, this is the Health and Safety at Work Act, which outlines what your responsibilities as a business owner and employer are.

You can again call in an expert who will run through a compliance checklist and ensure that you aren’t accidentally being negligent and failing to comply with certain aspects of the legislation.

Regularly Update Safety Documentation

While you are required by law to have a lot of written workplace safety documentation, most businesses can’t tell you what’s inside them.

Instead of ignoring this vital part of workplace safety, make sure you and your staff are familiar with all emergency protocols. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of a fire. Designate specific tasks for every individual. Otherwise, several people might end up dialing the fire department while no one is manning the fire extinguishers.

Keep your procedures and files updated, and notify everyone when they are changed and what the changes are.

Provide Regular Safety Training Sessions

Providing regular safety training will ensure that everyone on your team knows what they need to do when a certain situation arises.

You can again call in some professional help. There are plenty of courses available online for your staff to take. There are also companies that offer in-person hands-on sessions that will simulate emergencies and demonstrate the best responses.

Make sure that all training is specifically aligned with your needs and office space. Clearly specify emergency exits and escape routes.

Run Regular Emergency Drills

Put your safety procedures into practice and have regular safety drills.

Fire drills are your first order of business. Make sure the fire safety responsible person understands what their job is. Try to simulate a stressful and hectic situation and watch them run through their tasks.

Also, run different health emergency training sessions. Make sure everyone knows what to do if someone faints, cuts themselves, has a heart attack or a stroke.

Train for potentially less likely emergencies as well, like earthquakes, storms, robberies, or even terrorist attacks. While there may be a very slim chance that these situations will ever arise, you still want everyone to be completely prepared.

Consider the Safety of Employees Working from Home

If some of your employees are working from home, make sure they are safe as well. While you can’t inspect their home and ensure there are no trip and fall hazards, you can improve their online safety.

Provide reliable software they will use to do their job. Pay for their antivirus software and teach them the basics of online safety and security.

Establish clear communication procedures between those working in the office and those working from home. For example, you don’t want someone to be able to see inside your office via a video call if one of your employees is working from a cafe. Raise awareness and keep your staff educated.

Wrapping Up

Have you already implemented any of these workplace safety tips? If not, consider how you could make them a part of your 2024 plans. Knowing they are safe at work and that there are procedures in place should an emergency arise will help your employees feel more relaxed and be more productive.