Employers are responsible for making sure workers remain safe on the job, and as recently as 2016, 904 workers died after being involved in workplace accidents, according to the University of Regina. Understanding what’s required of you as an employer makes it easy to help employees work safely. There are several important measures to include in a workplace health and safety plan.
Understand and Correct Workplace Hazards
Things at work that cause harm to the human body are considered workplace hazards. The ideal time to explore the work area — to identify potential hazards to correct — is before anyone sustains an injury. Some common workplace hazards include:
- Chemicals that present an inhalation risk or burns
- Poor ergonomics that can lead to repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal disorders
- Biological hazards such as bacteria that can lead to illness
- Physical hazards such as mould, extreme temperatures and high noise levels
Create an Emergency Response Plan
When your company has an emergency response plan in place, it increases safety for everyone. An emergency response plan begins with an inspection of your work area to determine potential risks. The plan is then developed around what steps need to be taken to protect people’s lives if a disaster occurs. Examples of details to include in your emergency response plan include:
- What to do if there’s a fire
- Steps to take if chemicals spill
- What to do if something explodes
- The escape route if there’s a flood
Help Employees Reduce Workplace Stress
It’s important for employers to help workers deal with stress from the tasks associated with a job or from dealing with challenging co-workers. Set up an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, to help employees who are struggling with life’s challenges. EAPs are designed to be used for short term relief and should be part of a long term wellness program, according to CCOHS.
Encourage Balance Between Work and Life
Consider setting up a work-life balance initiative for your employees to help them navigate through the work day while allowing for life away from work. Some examples of work-life balance initiatives include:
- Fitness facilities or gym memberships
- Offering childcare on-site
- Flexible work schedules
- Training and education for things that improves the quality of life for workers
Implementing measures to ensure workplace health and safety has many advantages. It keeps your company in legal compliance. It bolsters employee morale, and it reduces work time that could otherwise be lost to sick days and on-the-job injuries.