Every year, workers suffer from several work-related injuries that range from tendonitis to muscle sprains, and in extreme cases, nerve damage. Human resource (HR) managers, therefore, are required to oversee many tasks to provide a safe working atmosphere for their staff.
The 1970 Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) is in place to ensure workers operate under safe working conditions. The act allows the enforcement of workplace safety policies and helps employers to provide a suitable working environment by offering training and research for everything related to work safety. The following are strategies that HR can use to provide a safe working environment for their staff.
Know the Rules and Regulations
Different types and sizes of businesses have different safety requirements. Thus, staying up-to-date and educated on your industry’s requirements is crucial in maintaining a compliant and safe working environment.
Establish Open Communication
One primary component required in gaining the trust of employees is to encourage open communication about any safety or health-related matters. Your staff should not fear complaining about their safety targets in the company. HR personnel should arrange for one-on-one meetings with the staff so that the employees will be at ease talking to the HR personnel in case they fear expressing their safety concerns directly to the managers.
Provide Ongoing Safety and Health Training
As a human resource manager, you are responsible for training employees to eliminate or mitigate workplace injuries. The managers must provide the needed first-aid equipment in all designated areas and train staff members on first aid procedures.
Human resource managers should also organize emergency evacuation drills. It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure their staff takes alerts seriously. They should also ensure the staff follows emergency protocols. When HR managers enforce safety policies, they absolve the company from litigation with the resulting injury compensation claims.
HR must educate their staff about workers’ rights, workers’ insurance, workers’ compensation, how L&I works, and what to do in the event of a work-related injury, including seeking legal help.
According to Emery Reddy, a workers’ compensation attorney law firm, this type of insurance is “a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to injured workers.”
Design a Safe Workplace
You should design your entire business premises in a way that contributes to employee productivity and safety. For instance, paint the walls with a neutral color. The HR can introduce paintings to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the working area. Besides, place cabinets at appropriate positions around the working area where staff can keep their belongings safe after reporting to work.
Implement Strict Safety Policies
The ideal workplace has no hazards at all. However, it’s not always possible to achieve the ideal. For instance, you cannot avoid having hazardous electrical equipment in particular workplaces. Here, HR can ensure the safety of their employees by prohibiting staff who are not assigned to work in specific hazardous areas from entering them. You can achieve this by communicating safety policies to the workforce through efficient HR communication methods.
Also, ensure you create further awareness by labeling areas that are considered being risky. Place caution signs and qualifications the staff must have for them to access the hazardous areas.
For corporate work areas that are not likely to have extremely dangerous materials, ensure you still identify hazards that can cause injuries, such as broken glass, slippery floors, or electrical wiring.
Work Hand-in-Hand With the Company Management
Besides HR, the facility department also has a crucial role to play in ensuring the safety standards of the company are achieved. By harmonizing the health and safety objectives of the company, the facility officers and HR can better protect their employees. The HR managers understand the working environment and the significant risks that the employees encounter under specific circumstances.
Request facility managers to give capital for safety equipment and products required to avoid slip and fall accidents such as restroom handrails, anti-slip security mats, and passage umbrella pack dispensers. Besides encouraging safety and cleanliness, these simple but crucial wellness products enhance the feeling of well-being in the workspace.
Carry Out Regular Safety Audits
A safety audit is a comprehensive review of the effectiveness and quality of the present safety systems, documentation, and programs. Although it takes quite some time, doing regular audits will enhance your overall safety management procedures, and the result is worth your effort and time. These audits make sure your programs follow the OSHA requirements and they check to see if any policies have been underperformed or neglected.
Although the human resource department has lots of responsibilities regarding managing the workplace, it is crucial for your employees that you should not neglect safety. These strategies will help ensure you provide for your employees a protected working environment and avoid disastrous occurrences that will affect your bottom line.