As an employer, one of your greatest responsibilities is ensuring a safe and secure working environment in which your employees are guaranteed their rights. Failure to do that can see you being held liable for accidents, injuries, and illnesses caused by the workplace. While simply purchasing the right installations for the premises is not the only thing that can make a difference, it can have a major impact. Here, we’re going to look more closely at the different installations worth considering, what kind of threats they can mitigate, and why you ought to consider them.
Prevent unauthorised access
The security of your premises can be just as important for the health and safety of your employees as it is for the protection of your assets. To that end, you may want to look at the possibility of installing a security fence, as well as reinforced doors that will prevent anyone from gaining unauthorised access. As for how you permit access, this can be done by, for instance, having a security guard at the door or by using an automated key card system.
Consider security systems
Beyond mitigating the risk of unauthorised entry, improving the security of your workplace may mean having the ability to react to threats when they do arise. A security alarm system can ensure that any potential intruders are not given the time they may want to ransack the place or threaten employees, especially if they get in contact with the police or a security team for you. CCTV systems can act as an effective deterrent against criminals, and can also provide evidence of criminal or suspicious behaviour that could help you crack down on it in the future.
Ensure good lighting where it’s needed
Lighting can be vital for good security, as well. Most criminals are opportunists, who will look for easy access when it’s provided, but decline to target more well-defended properties. Lightning draws attention and makes the chances of being spotted and identified all the higher. It can also make any worker staying late feel safer. Lighting is also vital in preventing workplace accidents, as well. Well-lit pathways are a lot easier to navigate, especially if there are any spills or obstacles that might be hard to see in the dark. Similarly, effective industrial lighting can make lifting and transporting objects much less risky, as well. Every part of the workplace that your employees access should be well-lit at all times.
Use labels and signage
Just as lighting can help your employees be much more aware of their surroundings, the appropriate labels and signage in the workplace, especially in industrial work zones, such as warehouses, manufacturing plants, and the like, can be crucial. Not only can good signage highlight safe walkways to take in places with moving vehicles, but it can highlight different types of risk, as well as what steps can be taken to mitigate them, such as which PPE your employees should be equipped in that area. Appropriate workplace signage means being aware of what the specific risks are in different parts of the workplace, of course, as well as the strong reinforcement of the rules that they put in place. You don’t want to spend money to put up signs only for no one to follow them because you don’t reinforce their message.
Consider the right flooring
One of the most overlooked contributing factors in workplace accidents, especially slips, trips, and falls, is the flooring that your workers are working and moving on. You might not think about it until a worker has slipped on it but, by then, it’s too late. Choosing the right flooring is all about thinking about what kind of traffic it can expect. Above everything else, you want to make sure that it’s not difficult for your team to get a grip on it with their feet. Of course, maintaining that flooring is just as important. Cleaning it on a regular basis and leaving out wet signs when the floor is wet, as well as establishing rules about not leaving objects in commonly trafficked walkways should be priorities.
Put safety rails in place
If you have any raised areas, even if they’re only raised by a few inches, then they are safety risks. Sometimes, you can mitigate potential injuries by highlighting ledges, whether it’s with bright tape or lighting. For balconies, stairs, or any other very high places, however, you are going to need safety rails in place. Safety rails can also be useful for any areas where people are moving alongside machinery or vehicles, to prevent people from wandering onto areas where vehicles might come around the corner. You can use galvanised tube clamps to further extend these railings if you expand the area that needs to be safeguarded, as well. Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common causes of injury in any workplace, and falls from a height are significantly more dangerous.
Provide equipment for safe lifting
If your team has to lift objects, whether they have to do it repeatedly on a regular basis, or they have to lift heavy objects, you should make sure that they have the equipment that can prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Aside from training them on the correct way to lift those objects, you should ensure that you have equipment such as harnesses and trolleys at the ready. These tools can help reduce the burden on the bodies of your workers, but they still have to be cognizant of the risks. For instance, while moving heavy objects on a trolley might not be as taxing, physically, they should still be mindful of their fingers and ensure they don’t get caught between the object they’re moving and any objects, walls, or doorways in the environment.
Think about ergonomics as well
While the dangers of back pain in the office might not be quite as dramatic as dropping a heavy object or falling from a great height, they can be just as serious in their long-term health consequences. The single best way to ensure the musculoskeletal health of your office workers is to encourage them to take breaks from their desks, to stretch, and to stand when possible. When they are sitting, however, then the right ergonomic seating is going to do a lot of work to support their back and joints so that they’re not putting as much pressure on them throughout the day.
Provide PPE for your team
Assess every task done in your workplace and seriously consider what personal protection equipment, or PPE, is necessary for it. Whether it’s safety goggles, gloves, aprons, or otherwise, ensure you invest in the quality protective gear that will prevent injuries. Every workplace that requires the use of personal protection equipment should also have a PPE station. This is the place where these items are stored safely when they’re not being used. Otherwise, leaving PPE such as goggles and gloves in places where they might be crowded with other resources could see them getting broken or torn under the weight of all that clutter. A PPE station allows your workers to quickly identify the equipment that they need, and they also know where to return it when they’re done with it.
Have stations to improve hygiene
Hygiene has received a lot more focus as of late, for obvious reasons, but it’s always been important in the workplace, especially during cold and flu season. Making hygiene stations, with hand sanitizer and wipes easily available to your team will make them a lot more likely to wipe down their surfaces and wash their hands of germs on a more regular basis.
Have the fire safety equipment you need
Fire safety is not optional. If you operate a business premises that has employees in it, then you’re likely to be mandated by law to have some level of fire safety provision in there. Working with a fire safety specialist, you can get a much better idea of what, precisely, you need, in terms of fire safety equipment, like fire extinguishers, blankets, hoses, and the like. You should also consider installations like fire doors and signage pointing to fire escape routes, especially if you operate a larger building.
Make first aid kits accessible
Lastly, you can’t prevent every injury in the workplace, but you can make sure that your team is able to take the right course of action when they encounter one. Keeping a first aid station in the workplace, or multiple spread out across a larger building, is vital, and you should ensure that labelling makes it clear where they are. Take the time to check their contents on a routine basis to make sure that you won’t be missing any supplies when you need them.
Of course, in order to make the best use of the information above, you need to know the risks most prevalent in your workplace. Working with a safety consultant can help you develop a much better assessment of health and safety risks on your property, so consider doing that, too.