Keeping Workplaces Safe

Workplace safety should be paramount for every employer. Not only is every employer obligated to adhere to the standards of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the requirements in their particular state, but practicing good workplace safety makes business sense too. The following are some of the ways in which you can safeguard against common workplace hazards.

COVID-19 and Other Diseases

The novel coronavirus outbreak of 2020 has without a doubt upended how businesses practice safety. Businesses have begun to take extra precautions to ensure their employees and customers are less likely to become infected with the virus, such as by working from home where possible, frequently cleaning equipment, wearing gloves and having customers stand a safer distance from one another. Undertaking solid efforts to prevent the spread of communicable diseases should not just be limited to a global pandemic, however. You can also help prevent the spread of disease as an employer by offering adequate sick leave benefits so employees do not feel pressured to come to work when they are ill.

Radon

Radon is a tasteless, odorless radioactive gas that is emitted when naturally-occurring uranium in the soil decomposes. Radon becomes an issue in buildings because it seeps up from the ground and gets concentrated inside, leaving anyone who spends significant amounts of time there at a much higher risk for developing lung cancer. In fact, it is the second largest cause of lung cancer outside of tobacco usage. This hazard is fortunately easy to fix. Simply have your workplace tested for it and put in radon remediation systems if levels are found to be high.

Air Quality

Businesses that use any substance that emits toxic or irritating fumes also need to practice key safety procedures, such as not using these materials in confined spaces or providing for sufficient ventilation. Fossil fuel emissions are another concern. Aside from being a healthier alternative for your employees and community, switching to green energy sources will almost certainly save you money in energy costs over time. Another way businesses can improve the air quality at their facilities is by banning smoking and vaping.

Equipment Safety

When most people think about workplace safety, they envision safety procedures that should be used around industrial machinery in a manufacturing or factory setting. Use common sense and adhere to guidelines recommended by equipment manufacturers. Employers can do their part by having workplace safety procedures in writing, training employees in it thoroughly during the onboarding process and ensuring managers enforce it at all times.

Manage Stress

Not all workplace hazards are physical. Extreme stress can be incredibly harmful to both the mental and physical health of workers and deserves to be adequately addressed. You can reduce stress on your employees by disseminating tasks more efficiently, allowing breaks and providing stress-reducing activities and resources. Employers should also recognize and emphasize the importance of mental health by facilitating and encouraging employees to see mental health professionals if needed.

Businesses owe it to their employees to provide them with as safe a working environment as possible, no matter industry or country. Always be looking for ways to improve your safety procedures. Remain informed of changing information, especially new information about potential hazards. You can develop a workforce of happy, healthy employees as a result.

Read about pollution in European cities. 

By Pete Mckinsey

Publisher, engineer and loving dad of four sweethearts. When I am not busy with work or taking care of my family you can find me on the golf course but only on a sunny day.

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