Safety isn’t exactly the most exciting aspect of starting a new business for the first time, but it is undoubtedly one of the most important.
Let’s face, it not only does no one want to work in a place that isn’t safe, but business owners don’t want to be faced with an employee who’s consulted a law firm for personal injury and is now on the hunt for compensation either. That’s why you need to take safety seriously from the very second that you start your business.
Obviously, you can’t 100 percent guarantee that no accidents will ever occur within your company, but if you take the following steps, you will cut the odds significantly…
Ensure Safety Rules are Easy to Access
There’s no point doing all kinds of risk assessments and setting up the best safety procedures you can think of to protect your employees, and your company from litigation, if you don’t make them accessible. Your employees need to be able to see a clear list of safety rules that have been explained in simple language that anyone can follow if they are to follow them. That’s why it never hurts to create an employee handbook and hang up safety rules around the workspace.
Invest in Employee Training and Encourage Your Staff
It’s much easier to keep your startup safe when all of your employees have undertaken safety training relevant to your line of work. It’s even easier when you’ve made it very clear to them how important safety is to all of you. It is for that reason that you might want to consider encouraging safety by, for example, offering small rewards and bonuses to any members of staff who identify potential dangers in the workplace. It’s a simple way of ensuring that everyone in the office is on the ball and always scouting for potential dangers.
Install Safety Officers
Even if you are a small business with very little money to spare, it is not a bad idea to designate a` safety officer for each floor of your company. That way, you can be sure that if there are unsafe practices going on, you will be notified of it. A safety officer doesn’t have to be a separate employee – just give one of your existing staff members some extra training and a slight pay rise and have them take on the role.
Don’t Cut Corners
So many workplace accidents happen when employees cut corners, often at the behest of their employers. If you don’t want to end up getting sued, you absolutely must not encourage or demand that your employees skip out on safety procedures, no matter how much pressure you’re under. Sure, it might speed things up and ensure that you don’t lose that contract, but if it means there’s an accident and you end up having to pay so much compensation that your business is bankrupt before it even gets off the ground or even worse one of your employees suffers life-changing injuries or even death as a result, is it really worth it?
Practice Makes Perfect
If you’re doing it right, you should be training your employees in workplace safety as they join you, but that shouldn’t be the end of it. From time to time you are going to want to get the team together to refresh their memories of the correct safety procedures, work out new improved strategies for keeping everyone safe and do some refresher training where applicable.
Use Protective Equipment
If you work in a dangerous environment, you should always look up the rules and regulations on safety equipment and not only ensure that all staff are using it where necessary, but also that the equipment you use meets official standards. It’s so easy to go for the cheaper option, only to find that it isn’t quite as safe as it should be and end up in a whole lot of trouble. This is one area where, as a small business, you will want to pay more.
Despite your best efforts, accidents can and do happen, which is why, as a small business owner, you should always make sure that you are insured for every eventuality. If you aren’t and one of your employees ends up getting hurt on your watch, you could be hit with a huge negligence suit that would ruin your company. That is the last thing you want to happen, and you can mitigate against it by having that all-important policy in place.