There are dozens of things, both big and small, that small business owners must pay attention to on any given day. However, workplace safety may be the most important.
Providing a safe and healthy place to work shows your employees and customers that you are ready for business. It signals that you are operating above board, as many workplace safety steps are required by law. It can also help establish trust between you and your staff, who may be more likely to recommend your business as a good place to work.
Let’s explore in more detail why workplace safety is important, and ways to help keep your employees safe while they are on the job.
Workplace Safety Creates a Better Work Environment
Workplace safety is about more than just following the law. Having a healthy and safe place to work is important to how your employees feel about their jobs and how your business functions.
Prioritizing workplace safety is important because:
- It boosts employee morale.
No one wants to work in an unsafe environment. A culture of workplace safety communicates to employees that they are valued and respected. This helps build a better business culture, where employees feel happier about coming to work.
- It improves productivity.
When safety is not prioritized, employees may become overly cautious. They may slow down while completing certain tasks or procrastinate doing ones they feel are especially unsafe. Workplace safety procedures can give employees more confidence to go about their job without unwarranted worry.
- It saves you money.
The National Safety Council estimates that on-the-job injuries cost around $1,100 per worker in 2019. For a small business, these expenses can eat into slim profit margins. Employers may also be fined or face lawsuits for serious injury or illness claims, further increasing their losses.
A safe workplace may also be a happier and more productive one. Preventing workplace injuries may also help your bottom line.
5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Safe at Work
Workplace safety is important, but how can employers create a culture of health and safety in their business? There are many ways to do this, but you may want to start with these five points:
- Make safety training a priority
Don’t wait until an injury happens to think about safety. Be proactive by creating safety procedures before they are needed. Schedule mandatory safety training with employees and run follow up sessions throughout the year to refresh and update them. Keep a copy of your emergency procedures someplace that’s easily accessible, so staff can refer to them when an incident takes place.
- Provide protective gear and proper equipment
Employees should be properly outfitted to do their jobs safely. Provide them with appropriate clothing or equipment for their role (or reimburse them if they are purchasing these items themselves). This may include items such as safety goggles, high-visibility vests, disposable gloves, or back braces. Remember, even office staff may require items to help them avoid injuries such as carpel tunnel syndrome or neck strain. Ergonomic furniture, footrests, and monitor stands may be appropriate.
- Maintain a clean and organized workspace
Removing hazards before they cause an injury is an effective way to keep employees safe. Make sure spills are cleaned immediately and tripping hazards, such as boxes or electrical cords, are removed from walkways. Sharp tools or dangerous chemicals should be properly stored when not in use. Store heavy boxes closer to the ground, to avoid injuries caused by falling objects.
- Clearly label hazards
Calling attention to possible risks lets employees know when and where to exercise more caution in the workplace. Some hazard labels are temporary, such as a “wet floor” sign placed over a spill. Others are permanent, including hazardous chemical labels and other OSHA-mandated signs.
- Encourage a healthy work-life balance
Overworked, tired, and stressed employees are more likely to make mistakes that could lead to an injury. Supporting your staff so they can create a better work-life balance can help. This might include hiring more support staff, providing access to wellness programs, or approving additional time off.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Small Businesses
Preventing every workplace injury may be impossible, no matter how safe you are. A workplace injury shouldn’t put you out of business. Workers’ Compensation insurance can help keep this from happening by providing an important safety net for your employees and business.
Workers’ Compensation insurance provides benefits to your employees when they make a claim against your workplace for injury or illness. It also protects you against medical expenses and lawsuits that can arise from employee workplace injuries and illnesses.
BizInsure makes it fast and easy for small business owners to find the right Workers’ Compensation policy for them. Our blend of technology and traditional, licensed support delivers competitively priced quotes from top-tier insurers.
Visit our website now to receive Workers’ Compensation quotes for your small business.