According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,764 fatal work injuries in 2020, which was a 10.7 percent decrease from 2019. The fact that the number of cases went down is good, but we can chalk it up to the pandemic and the possibility that more employees worked from home in 2020. Moreover, we can always do more to ensure that that number goes to zero at some point.
Work injuries are entirely preventable, and it is up to owners, managers, and bosses to ensure that everything is being done to protect employees from these preventable injuries or worse, death.
If you are a boss or a manager at a potentially hazardous workplace, like a construction site or a laboratory, here are some employee management tips you need to remember to keep everyone safe and healthy:
Follow the laws regarding workplace safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established to ensure that there is an agency regulating, inspecting, and examining workplaces to ensure healthy and safe working conditions for everybody in the company or place of business. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, on the other hand, was a law passed to ensure that workers in the U.S. are never exposed to hazardous, and potentially fatal, working conditions.
Laws are already in place to protect every employee’s right to work in a safe and healthy working environment, so business owners and managers only need to enforce them. Do regular checkups to ensure that every point in this law is being followed in your place of work. Once you have this as a foundation for every decision you make as a boss in charge of employees, then everything else is an added safeguard.
Invest in the high-quality protective equipment
When it comes to protecting human life, no investment is ever too big. If your employees are constantly exposed to chemicals or flammable materials, consider purchasing fire protective or resistant clothing to ensure their protection. If our team members are constantly spending time on a construction site, then we need to ensure that they’re wearing high-quality hard hats.
When it comes to purchasing equipment and gear, we get what we pay for. So investing in higher quality items may cost us now, but we can at least be sure that they are efficient at protecting our people when they’re exposed to potentially dangerous situations.
Establish a safety plan
Aside from following workplace safety laws and investing in the right protective equipment, another way we can help manage and protect our employees is by establishing a safety and wellness plan that encourages everyone to take caution. The onus to prevent injury and accidents is not just on bosses and managers; it’s incumbent upon everyone to do their part. This plan needs to cover all tiers of employee health and safety—from the CEO to managers to employees—and everyone must do their part in reporting hazardous behavior or practices.
Make sure to post this safety plan in all areas and rooms of your workplace to remind everybody about what to do when they’re at work.
Always find ways to improve
When it comes to ensuring the safety of everybody in the company, bosses need to be proactive in researching ways to improve practices and conditions. This involves constantly being on the lookout for potential vulnerabilities and risks and researching new tools, devices, and strategies to eliminate these problems. It’s important to pay extra attention to common injuries or accidents, so we can develop better strategies to keep these untoward incidents from happening.
Discourage everybody at all levels from taking shortcuts. It’s when we take the easy way out (forgetting to turn off machines to leave early, prioritizing speed over quality, and others) that we expose ourselves and others to risky conditions at work.
Keep track of the safety precautions and observe how they’re working
Once everyone has been educated on workplace safety, make sure to keep observing if the safeguards in place are working as they should. Consider rewarding employees who are showing particular care about these practices, and especially ones who remain committed to abiding by these rules.
Keep everything organized and orderly
And lastly, remind everyone to keep things orderly and organized in the workplace. Keep flammable materials where they need to be, and turn off machinery when they’re not in use.
Taking safety measures seriously is not about being paranoid; it’s about first, being proactive in protecting human life, and second, protecting the business. Don’t forget these management tips to keep your employees safe from accidents or injury at work.