Workplace safety management is necessary for business owners. Local health and safety regulations, as well as guidelines set by OSHA, require you to ensure that your employees have a safe environment to work in. While larger businesses have the budget to ensure that they can implement the best health and safety management policies, smaller businesses are often constrained by their budgets.
Even if you have just ten employees, your small business will still have to ensure that you’re following health and safety regulations. How can you manage this on a small business owner’s budget?
Here are seven safety measures to take for small businesses:
1. Understand required health and safety guidelines
By poring local and national health and safety guidelines, you’ll be able to understand the basic requirements asked of you. Different states may have different requirements, so learning what the local health and safety regulations can help you. That way, should an inspector visit your small business, you’ll know what they’re looking for and can better protect your business.
Once you’ve studied the guidelines, you should consider creating a health and safety management policy. Establishing protocols that ensure the protection of your small business and property will help ensure that there are protocols in place should an accident or emergency occur. It is an investment in your business’ success.
2. Equipment malfunctions and safety systems
Equipment malfunctions are one of the more common causes of workplace accidents. They can catch your employees unaware and lead to physical injuries. They can also cause fire or water damage that affects the physical location of your small business.
By getting your pieces of equipment regularly checked by a professional and ensuring that all systems are up to date, you can prevent equipment malfunctions.
Small businesses that aren’t careful about how they place equipment and products can also invite accidents. Small objects or wires on the ground can cause slips and falls. When placing your equipment and inventory, ensure that they are kept in a way where accidents can best be avoided.
Another factor to consider is the use of security and surveillance cameras within the small business property. These should be placed in areas where accidents are more likely to occur. In case of an accident, the person monitoring the security footage can identify the issue and alert authorities. That way, the situation can immediately be dealt with and further damage prevented.
3. Industry-wide and on-premise risk assessments
An industry-wide risk assessment lets you know what the most common safety risks within your industry are. As these differ from industry to industry, understanding the issues faced by other business owners in your industry can give you an advantage.
But that isn’t enough to implement the best safety measures. You’ll also need to understand what the risk factors associated with your particular property are. Is there existing water damage? Mold? Are there are loose wires? By assessing your property in-depth and working to fix any existing problems, you greatly reduce the chances of safety hazards at work. To be extra safe, you can consider running these assessments annually to keep up to date with potential safety risks.
4. Safety and emergency training
Your employees should be informed regarding potential safety hazards at work. They should be asked to keep an eye out for potential problems and immediately notify authorities should an event occur.
Providing safety training sessions gives them the opportunity to learn what they’re expected to do and how they should react to health and safety issues. You can also consider providing first aid lessons as well. Keeping a first aid kit on site and training employees for emergency scenarios ensures that any employee who faces an accident gets immediate help.
5. Safety management teams
By assigning a few employees with the task of maintaining health and safety, you ensure that someone is on the lookout at all times. Their responsibility should be to monitor the small business premises and react should an emergency occur.
They should be informed that it isn’t their responsibility to handle every safety-related scenario – such as with fires or electrical damage. Their responsibility is to keep an eye out, handle small situations, notify the authorities in case of accidents and ensure workplace safety regulations are followed. You don’t have to hire new employees to fill this role. Since safety hazards aren’t as common as you think, especially when care is taken to prevent them, your existing employees can handle this. You can even start a rotation-based system so that every employee gets the chance to use the skills they learned during their safety training sessions.
6. Stress and anxiety reduction sessions
Human error increases when people are stressed out. When this happens, employees who are otherwise capable can make silly mistakes. If these mistakes cause a safety-related problem, a small business could suffer. An example of this is an employee who accidentally starts a fire or who trips and falls because they weren’t watching where they were going.
Stress reduction sessions help you prevent such situations from happening. A stress-free employee is also a more productive and happier employee.
7. Workers compensation insurance policy
Many states require business owners to have Workers Compensation Insurance Policy. Workers Comp provides coverage for employees who get hurt or injured at work. It provides coverage for medical claims, disability benefits and can even help employees recover a part of the wages they lost due to their workplace injury.
Having health and safety management guidelines can help small businesses maintain workplace safety and protect their employees. Business insurance policies such as Workers Comp can help small business owners protect their funds and assets if an emergency does occur. Small business owners already have limited budgets to work with, so considering safety protocols and business insurance plans can help you mitigate against potential disasters.
If you want to learn more about business insurance for small business owners, you can click here.