Workplace accidents can become very costly to an organisation. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees and team members are trained on how to properly use equipment to avoid injury. You’re also responsible for ensuring that they’ve received and read any employee handbook material relating to safety rules and how accidents should be handled if they occur.
According to studies, the factors that contribute most to injuries in the workplace include employee errors, faulty equipment, and poorly planned procedures. Fortunately, each of these conditions can be easily addressed.
Consider adding the following steps to your regular review process in order to eliminate or prevent accidents amongst your team:
• Can you look at your job group’s functions and identify which activities they perform that might be considered high-risk? Is there a way to eliminate or reduce the risk involved with each activity?
• Review your current safety-training programs to determine whether or not they are properly tailored to your employees and their current job functions.
• Monitor the routines your employees use and change them up a little bit if necessary. Someone who follows the same boring routine daily will pay less attention to the details as he muddles through it, especially if it never changes and he is able to commit it to memory.
• Look at the design of your workplace. Was it created with ergonomics in mind? Are there things you can do to make your office setting more comfortable and safe for your team?
• Make sure your training programs are available in multiple languages, or that you have a competent interpreter available to help with employees with language barriers. An employee who can’t understand your instructions will not be safe on the job.
If you encounter what you feel are serious deficiencies while going through these steps it may be time to make changes to your workplace safety management program. Even more important is making sure that all of your managers and team leaders have undergone workplace safety management training so that they can identify dangerous factors within their settings as well.
I challenge you to take a look around your office or warehouse today. How safe is your business operation?
Originally published: 16 December, 2008
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