Health and wellbeing at work has become an increasingly important issue in recent years.
While it has always been important to emphasise the safety of your team and personnel, there are now more considerations than ever before.
Good safety protocols now extend beyond the physical and into the emotional and psychological (such as Mental Health First Aid), and also into less tangible areas, such as cybersecurity.
All leaders and entrepreneurs know that the safety of their team is paramount, and that ‘prevention is better than cure’. So if you’re keen to stop safety issues arising at work, we’ve compiled five of the best tried and tested ways to prevent them.
1. Invest In Fire Safety
Preventing fire hazards from arising is a major obligation as an employer — both legally and ethically. It is important to ensure that your premises is safeguarded against all preventable fire issues, and that you have done everything you can to make it easy to raise the alarm.
The best way to achieve this is by investing in the best fire safety systems available. This will include a sensitive and reliable fire alarm setup, as well as other possible measures such as fire doors and extinguishers.
Some more advanced fire safety systems will connect directly to the authorities, alerting them of any events that require a response. But whatever fire safety system you put in place, be sure to review it regularly and keep it well maintained, while also ensuring that all fire escape routes are kept clear and free of obstructions.
Fire is undoubtedly one of the primary safety concerns for most businesses, but the good news is that emergencies can almost always be prevented with vigilance, attention to detail, and a powerful fire safety system in place.
2. Increase Visibility
An overlooked way to instantly improve your on-site safety is to increase visibility — especially through using CCTV cameras.
Increasing visibility will help to ensure that no-one is ever lost on-site, located in an unauthorised area that may require specialist training or safety equipment, or finds themselves in an unfamiliar place after visiting the site on a tour, for example.
While comprehensive CCTV coverage is likely the most powerful method, increasing visibility on-site can also include posting security guards, clearing areas that obstruct views of the site, and more.
Additionally, CCTV is not only helpful for guarding against unauthorised personnel or redirecting those who may be lost; it can also be a vital tool if a team member becomes injured or unwell and must be found at speed.
3. Prevent Unauthorised Access
Unauthorised access to your site can be a safety risk for a variety of reasons. Those without secure access may be trespassers or would-be thieves who put your stock at risk, or they may simply have accidentally entered an area where they are endangered by nearby vehicles and equipment.
You can prevent unauthorised access in a variety of ways, such as by ensuring your fences or perimeters are adequately maintained, adding a secure gate or lock system, and monitoring entry and exit ways with a security guard.
4. Train Your Team
A powerful way to prevent safety issues in your business is to train your team effectively. This includes thorough education about their own role, and raising awareness of how to prevent problems, injuries, and ‘burnout’ at work — but it also extends to training them in looking out for others.
Many employers now train their team in a variety of support and wellbeing roles, such as Mental Health First Aid, first-point-of-contact Counselling, and more. Other roles may include being designated as someone to talk to - or raise issues with - in the first instance.
Although this is an area that is sometimes overlooked by entrepreneurs, studies show that leaders who treat their employees’ overall health and wellbeing as a genuine company safety concern are more likely to have a healthy, happy, and effective workforce.
5. Create An Open Dialogue
If you are keen to prevent safety issues in your business before they have a chance to arise, create a system in which your team feels comfortable raising any problems or concerns that they spot.
This is a great way to get a variety of opinions and perspectives, helping to ensure that no area is missed.
With an active, observant, and collaborative approach, you and your business will stand the best chance of preventing a wide variety of safety issues from developing!