How to Keep Every Employee in Your Small Business Safe at All Times
If you run a small business, you might not think that health and safety is a big deal. You might even think that because you have less staff, there’s less chance of someone getting injured on your premises. While the law of averages might mean this is true, unfortunately, accidents don’t always follow the statistics. An accident could happen at any time, no matter how many people you have working for you or how many jobs you complete. While you can never be sure that accidents won’t happen, there are a lot of things you can do to reduce the chance of happening in your business. Failure to do so could not only bring harm to your colleagues but could also force the business to shut down until the incident is investigated and could even leave you liable for prosecution if it turns out to be the company’s fault. With that in mind, here are some things you should consider to make sure your small business keeps all of its employees safe at all times.
Use the right materials
When it comes to completing a task, it’s important that you have the best and most suitable materials to complete that task. Not only will this help you make the best product, but it’ll also help keep your employees that make that product safe. A lot of injuries are caused when workers try and mold and manipulate a certain material to do something it simply isn’t designed to do. Sure, you might think that the material will do the job if you apply a bit more force, use extra heat, or even a more powerful tool to make it do what you want to do, but introducing more force, heat, and tools can introduce more risks.
When you design any new product, research the best materials used to make that product. Although you might be able to make it out of the materials your company already stocks in their warehouse, consider whether buying a new material on the market could actually improve the manufacturing process. For example, hydrophobic polymer technology is constantly evolving and making products that are safer to use. For example, the company Polymer Chemistry Innovations have designed a polymer called PEHMA that’s commonly used in products like adhesive that is organic and hydrophobic, as well as a non-fouling polymer that is robust while remaining flexible. Choose products like these rather than other adhesives that can give off dangerous gases. Before you use any product, make sure you carefully read the safety information provided.
Give them the right tools
As well as using the right materials, it’s important that you give your workers the right tools. Consider what tool is best for which job as there are always pros and cons to every device. While power tools like circular saws can be dangerous, they can reduce the chance of muscle strain that the physical labor of using a manual saw can cause. When we talk about tools, we’re not just talking about manual laborers and tradespeople. No matter what you do for a living, it’s highly likely that there are certain tools you need to use every day. For example, if you’re employees have to stock high shelves, make sure they’re given a secure step or ladder to safely be able to reach the higher shelves. Also, consider installing tools that could increase their security, like CCTV cameras, to deter any thieves or criminals from stepping onto your premises.
Once you’ve provided your employees with the right tools and materials, it’s time to make sure they know how to use them properly. If a new employee joins the business, make sure you set aside time for a more experienced employee to show them how to use the tools in the building. If you introduce a new tool or piece of machinery to the business, make sure every single employee of staff is trained on how to use it safely. Although a worker might think they know how to use a piece of machinery like the one you’ve introduced, they might not know about all the features of different makes and models of the same tool.
Set achievable deadlines
Most accidents happen when employees are either overtired or feel rushed. Make sure your employees are never rushing by setting achievable deadlines for them to reach. If something unexpected happens to delay work, try and alter the deadline or employ more workers to help rather than force your team to work faster or longer hours.