Every company should not overlook the importance of workplace safety, which is all about preventing injury, illness, and even death to employees in the workplace. Aside from preventing any unfortunate event from happening, workplace safety has been shown to have positive impact on a business. According to the US Department of Labor, employers pay as much as $1 billion a week for workers’ compensation expenses alone. Imagine how much an accident can cost a firm, aside from the stigma of a worker getting injured or worse, perishing while on duty?
As such, it is important for businesses to have a clear safety plan. Everyone in the organization should be briefed on what to do during particular emergency situations, like fire, burglary, storm, floods, or hurricane. Employees should have an idea on the first plan of action for each situation, like where to go and who to call. The conduct of regular safety training exercises can also refresh the emergency preparedness of the employees.
Aside from having a clear safety plan, the following are other tips to ensure safety in the workplace:
1. Regular workplace safety inspections.
The conduct of regular safety inspections in the workplace is probably as important as training employees on emergency preparedness. Check all equipment and systems and ensure that all of these are working well and safely. Monitor fire alarms and smoke detectors to ensure that in case an emergency happens, the employees will be alerted right away.
2. Install the right tools at the right place.
Installing the right safety tools can spell the difference between life and death during an emergency. For instance, a properly installed fire system will protect everyone in the office as it will immediately alert that a fire has broken in the building.
Companies can also consider the use of employee notification systems. These notification systems are designed to inform the employees about an emergency in the office without causing panic, which is usually the case when the fire alarm sounds off.
Employee notification systems can be used during small scale emergencies when a full-scale evacuation isn’t necessary. These notification systems are an ideal secondary tool for emergency response.
3. Organization of a disaster response team.
The organization of a disaster response team will go a long way towards propagating a culture of emergency preparedness in the office.
The disaster response team will be composed of representatives from every department or unit in the organization, with related duties and responsibilities during an emergency. Some may be in charge of assisting co-workers during an actual evacuation, while others will be trained to use a fire extinguisher so that they can help put off the fire right away.
The members of the disaster response team regularly undergo training. They’ll be trained to be physically capable of performing their duties during an emergency, identify toxic hazards in the workplace, and even determine when to evacuate personnel or request for outside assistance.
4. Promote awareness among employees.
Emergency preparedness should be made a way of life in the workplace. Employees themselves should know basic things like the nearest fire exit, location of the nearest fire extinguisher, and the designated meeting location after an emergency. Moreover, encourage them to have supplies such as walking shoes, water bottle, and flashlight that can come in handy during an emergency.
By following these workplace safety best practices, company officials can have peace of mind knowing that their office and employees are ready for any kind of emergency, whether it’s a fire, a storm, a flood, a hurricane, or even a terrorist attack.