In an increasingly automated and mechanized world, it is easy to create a hazardous environment. Technology has given us many benefits in terms of efficiency, productivity and plainly enabling us to do things not possible in the past. With such power comes great responsibility. As we are working with increasingly powerful machines, chemicals and processes so do raise the chances for a potential accident to occur. Thus, creating a safe working environment is an ever-growing task for employers. Workplace safety is the most basic property all businesses need to own, bot from a moral and legal standpoint. There are plenty of safety regulations put in place, depending on the area of the world we find ourselves in. Here are some of the basic guidelines on which to design and maintain a safe workplace.

 

  1. Maintaining awareness

 

The first and best line of defence from hazardous situations is awareness. Keeping and maintaining it is something that a business needs to constantly teach and promote. Potential dangers need to be disclosed both existing ones and ones that might appear in the future. Awareness relates to people and machines as well. Suspicious and unusual behaviour needs to be reported and dealt with in a manner that is predetermined by protocol. Employees need not be afraid of reporting or inquiring about unusual things happening around them. They need to be motivated in doing so, as it will result in a very safe environment for all.

 

2. Knowing our regulations

 

Each industry and niche have their own challenges to overcome. This applies to regulations that are usually given to us by the local jurisdiction. It is important for us to have intimate knowledge of these regulations for a multitude of reasons. Safety being the most important one, but also to avoid any potential breaches of law and lawsuits against us. Physical workers, aided with machinery, face a high degree of risk from acute injuries. The office environment is making employees susceptible to ergonomic strains and musculoskeletal disorders and pains. Environments with a lot of different chemical compounds expose people to the dangers of toxic inhalation or chemical burns. As we have mentioned, we need to identify which industry we belong to and study the relevant regulations accordingly. Usually, federal regulations govern the necessary preventive measures for human safety and wellbeing. Often enough, these do require a certain set of equipment to be on-site and readily available for everyone to us. Which means that safety does mean a financial investment from the get-go.

 

3. Expert help and consultation

 

There are plenty of companies offering professional counselling in terms of equipment, studying regulation and dealing with the law. Law enforcement officials have to offer suggestions and courses. Private enterprises can teach and provide security and equipment like the Protection Revolution Australia, for example. It is up to us to find a business which resonates with our business operations that is an expert in the field of safety and security. Often enough, safety measures can be counterintuitive, but a professional will make it all clear before a disaster strikes.

 

4. Consistency

 

The modern workplace has become very flexible as of late. Flexible working hours, team building, open concept workspace, personalized desks, you name it. The one thing that needs to hold its zero-tolerance policy is safety and security. A business needs to be firm in its intention to keep its regulations and procedures. Not to say that change is not healthy, but routine can be a friend as employees get familiar and internalize all the necessary procedures. If someone breaks these pillars of safety, it needs to go on the record and proper reprimands should be put in place. Also, the proper use of the machines and processes needs to be awarded.

 

5. Employee feedback

 

Workers know best what are the hazardous areas in their environment. After all, they are the ones with their hands on the machinery doing the work. They also are an invaluable source of wisdom and feedback that we can utilize to improve or even change a faulty regulation or piece of equipment. This feedback process needs to have a clear line of communication and needs to be encouraged. Have a point system for anyone reporting a valid safety concern. This way we will be encouraging a culture of safety in an organic, non-forced way. It provides us with a first-person view of what is going on and what challenges employees face every day. Observing the workers as they are doing their job can also prove to be invaluable in figuring out any objects or processes that need improvement.

 

6. Communication

 

Tying in with our previous point, let’s talk about communication. In this modern-day and age, communication is the most important factor no matter the industry and niche we find ourselves in. It is the pillar of a healthy and productive working environment. Communication needs to be open, clear and aimed towards bettering ourselves and our work as well. When it comes to safety, it is obvious that it has a great impact on. Voicing concerns will make employees feel like they are making an impact on the world. And from time to time we are surprised what brilliant ideas can stem from people working in all areas of a business. So, incentivize and promote a clear channel of communication where everyone can have their say weighted in an equal manner.

 

7. Practice

 

Routine safety drills are essential when it comes to being adopting and internalizing safety procedures and culture. It is important to equip our employees with knowledge of safety procedures and rules. While it is always necessary to have these clearly listed, nothing beats practice by performing drills over and over again. In regular intervals, drills should be organized so that employees are familiarized with everything that they need to be doing in order to facilitate a safer working environment. 

 

These are the basic principles that will help an organization achieve a healthy and safe workplace environment. On Maslow's pyramid of needs, safety comes first and for a good reason. It is the foundation on which all other business challenges can be resolved. 

Author's Bio: 

Emily Wilson is a business psychologist with a passion for the law. Researching, exploring and writing are her favourite things to do. Besides that, she loves travelling, music and animals.