As a young startup, you should try to avoid workplace injuries as much as you can. Yes, you can incur a lot in expenses like medication, compensation for loss of income, and legal procedures. There is also the issue of reduced productivity, a damaged reputation, and the likes. All these can cause financial harm to your young upstart.
Now, workplace injuries are not just limited to high-risk industries like construction. Injuries can occur in any workplace. In this regard, you should take measures to minimize the risks of an accident as much as possible. How then can you do this?
Let us delve into some simple tips on how you can prevent injuries in your young upstart:
Ensure the workplace is clean and orderly.
A clutter-free, clean, and orderly environment reduces the possibility of accidents from fires and explosions, falls, trips, and slips. Imagine an office with cables and cord all over the floor? An employee can easily get injured from tripping and falling. So, encourage your employees to keep their workspaces orderly and clutter-free. They will be able to work with minimal risks of hazard.
Educate and train the employees.
Offer training and educate the employees on occupational safety and health. It impacts them with knowledge and skills on how to work safely without creating hazards that could harm them or others. Good training enhances the employees’ understanding of hazards in the workplace, including how they can identify, control, and report them. For employees working in vulnerable sections of your business, for example, machine operators, provide specialized training that can improve their safety.
Have safety policies and procedures.
Having safety policies and procedures shows that you are committed to protecting your employees from injury. According to an injury lawyer who represents injured employees, employers can avoid costly injuries through proper safety policies. So, craft policies outlining the roles and responsibilities of everyone in ensuring safety. Again, provide safe work procedures to all the employees in your startup. Let the documents show the sequence of steps the employee should follow to carry out a task safely. Still, in the procedures, highlight measures to control risks in every step. Ensure that the policies and procedures are accessible to every employee.
Inquire for a pre-employment physical exam.
Before employing any personnel, ask them to bring physical examination results. The examination investigates factors like physical strength, heart conditions, and mental stability under physical strain. Depending on the outcome, you will be able to place the employee at a place most suitable for them to reduce risks.
Avoid workplace safety shortcuts.
Injuries can also occur due to the employee skipping steps in safety procedures to save time. Some of the safety shortcuts that the employee should avoid are ignoring safety signs, lifting equipment quickly, and misusing tools, etc. Again, some employees skip breaks so that they can finish a particular task. Encourage the employees to take breaks. They help their minds, and bodies recover from work stress, and hence they can keep working safely. Taking shortcuts can be a faster way of getting things done; however, they can endanger the safety of the employees.
Undertake inspection and maintenance.
According to research, employers pay close to $2 billion annually for accidents resulting from under-maintained vehicles. Therefore, if you provide motor vehicles for your employees, make sure that they are regularly inspected and maintained. It prevents auto accidents as any claims made for injury after the accident can hurt your young upstart financially.
Ensure that the people using the business vehicles have a good driving record. Educate them and insist that they follow the traffic rules to minimize the possibility of an auto accident.
Safety signs usage.
As an employer, ensure that there are signs in hazardous areas. With the signs, the person operating in the specific workspace will be able to undertake the required precaution. For example, a sign showing that the floor is slippery will trigger a person walking in a particular area to take safe steps. Signs are an essential part of safety in the workplace; thus, you should use them to keep your staff out of danger.
Encourage the employee to report dangers and accidents.
If your employees are well trained, they can identify dangers. Try to encourage them to report the identified hazards to the management. Then, carry out the necessary precautions to prevent the identified danger from injuring an employee. The same applies to the accident. Appeal to them to report any accident. Then, analyze the root cause and get the corrective plan and action. You should also train the employees on how to avoid a similar occurrence in the future. It is good to have immediate supervisors, who the employees can report to, and help guide other employees on matters safety.
Provide the employees with personal protective equipment.
Provide the employees with necessary personal protective equipment to minimize the risks of injury. Such include clothing, headgears or helmet, safety boots, eyewear, ear muffs or earplugs, etc. It is also essential to educate them on the appropriate use of the personal protective equipment and keep checking that they are being put to proper use.
Ensure you have enough staff.
Staff shortage puts pressure on the existing employees to overwork for long hours to achieve the set targets. Overworking employees will often have them mentally and physically exhausted. They may even decide to take shortcuts to finish a specific task. With exhaustion or by taking shortcuts, the employee’s safety gets compromised. Therefore, it is your responsibility to hire enough employees for various roles in your upstart. In addition to the permanent employees, you can opt for part-time or seasonal employees. They can come in when you have more work plus it will save you on costs.
As an entrepreneur, you ought to know that workplace injuries can lead to financial loss in business. For an upstart, injuries can even result in total closure of the business. It is difficult to eliminate work-related injuries completely, but you have to work hard to protect your business and your employees.
Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.