Business owners have a lot of responsibilities, but few are as important as the task of creating and maintaining a safe working environment. This is particularly important because it is about maintaining the health and wellness of others. The critical nature of safety does not, however, mean that it needs to be overly complicated. Safety in the workplace is about order, communication and commitment.
Order Must Be a Priority
Safety begins with order and organization. Maintaining an orderly and organized facility can only happen in offices and facilities that have the necessary organizational equipment needed to keep things orderly and organized. However, the equipment is not sufficient for the purposes of staying organized. There must also be a clear plan and method for how each and every job in the facility is to perform the tasks associated with their jobs in an orderly and organized fashion. For instance, employees who work in shipping and receiving must have a step-by-step plan that each person follows to complete their tasks in an orderly fashion. If the facility uses a receiving cart as a part of their process, employees must have a consistent method for processing their work in an orderly fashion that follows a plan of organization that keeps the workstation in order. A safe facility ensures that no matter what employees are working on a task, the processes will be carried out in the same organized manner in order to maintain an orderly working environment.
Communication Must Be Clear
Maintaining an orderly working environment is consequential to the safety of a company because it directly impacts the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with employees. In an organized and orderly facility, communicating important safety information throughout will be much easier. A safe working environment has safety information posted in all necessary areas. Signs, labels, tags, floor signs and various other communication methods that are easy to read and clearly visible are employed throughout the facility. These materials are critical to the safety of a facility as each of these communication tools is used to direct, alert and warn employees and anyone else in the facility.
Training Must Be Continuous
To ensure that employees are prepared to operate safely in a facility, they need to receive regular, consistent training. This can be in the form of monthly weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly safety meetings. Employees should be expected to maintain the safety of their working environment because they receive regular and consistent training and reminders of the proper protocols in place to maintain safety. Safety in the workplace is only maintained when the practices and protocols necessary to be safe are intentionally implemented. And the safety practices and protocols must be frequently and consistently reviewed by employees.
People Must Be Committed
People will do important things when they are told to do so, but they will be far more committed and consistent in doing important things if they believe in what they have been asked to do. Safety in the workplace must be an expectation, and employees must know that they are required to follow the safety protocols of an organization. However, this does not mean that an authoritative approach to safety is the most effective. Employees should be made to see that their role in the safety of the workplace is not only critical but is something to be proud of when it is achieved and consistently maintained. Employees who are invested in the safety program and who are fully committed to maintaining safety are more effective in that regard. Business owners, safety managers and supervisors will be far more successful at maintaining a safe working environment if they inspire their employees to be safe and reward them when they do so consistently.
Safety in the workplace is about preventing accidents and injuries, and prevention only happens when people are intentional. Intentionality only occurs when there are practices and protocols are in place and clearly communicated. A safe working environment can only happen in a facility where owners and managers are deliberate about preparing their employees to be safe, requiring them to be safe, but also, hopefully, inspiring them to be safe.