Employee safety at the workplace has always remained a primary concern amongst recruiters. But, when Covid-19 took a heavy toll on the world, the existing measures had to be reconsidered.
So, don’t be surprised if you see routine checkups using Lateral Flow Covid-19 test kits at work. Simple hygiene and care aren’t enough to keep your employees safe now. The present world demands you to do more!
In this article, we will shed light on the importance of employee protection with respect to health and safety. We will also discuss ways to achieve it in today’s post-Covid era!
Why Is It Important to Protect Your Employees?
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 makes it a legal obligation for employers to protect their workers. Not complying with this rule can put you into serious legal trouble. You may have to face heavy fines, imprisonment, and even disqualification from the business.
Besides, employees are valuable assets to the organization. They form the workforce, and without their satisfaction, it’s impossible to make the business efficient.
Moreover, if an employee feels unsatisfied with workplace protection or encountered a bad experience, they may spread the word. They will share the matter with their family and friends, which can damage their reputation.
What Is Included in Employee Protection?
Employee protection is a vast term. It includes everything from the protection of employees’ movement to mental health. But, when talking about health and safety, we can narrow the definition.
In this regard, employee protection means securing your workforce from physical and health hazards. These may result due to:
Lack of protective guards
Lack of training and education
Exposure to toxic chemicals
Poor hygiene standards
Ineffective means for reporting injuries
These dangers should be identified and eliminated on priority. If some risks cannot be removed from the workplace, measures should be taken to reduce their impact on the employees.
How Do You Ensure the Safety and Health of the Employees?
Now that we have discussed the importance of employee safety in the workplace. Let’s shed light on the best ways to ensure it!
Provide Safety Training & Guidelines
It’s a natural human instinct to protect oneself from danger. However, the majority of workplace injuries are due to running into others or tripping over things. These common acts turn into serious, life-threatening situations.
So, it’s important to give your workforce safety training workshops on a regular basis. In these sessions, educate them about the importance of being alert in the workplace and how to handle crises. If the work involves heavy and potentially-dangerous machinery, teach the employees their proper usage.
Ensure a Comfortable Workplace
A crowded, uncomfortable workplace gives birth to dangers. Your employees may bump into misplaced furniture, trip over items, or fall ill due to inappropriate temperatures.
These scenarios may be minor, but they get counted into employee protection at the workplace. Take note and improvise the office to make it a safer place. You can do so by:
Extending the space or distributing the employees over multiple offices to lower the count in one.
Installing advanced heating systems to ensure optimum workplace temperatures.
Creating ventilation points in the form of windows or exhausts.
Investing in high-quality and ergonomic office furniture
It’s also best to hire assistant staff to keep the office clean and maintained.
Perform Risk Assessment
Risk assessment refers to the process of identifying potential hazards in the work area and analyzing their impact. This is important to understand the extent of damage these dangers can do, and resolve them accordingly.
There are 5-simple steps for performing a risk assessment. These include:
Identify the dangers
Determine who is at risk and how
Outline the necessary precautions
Record and implement the findings
Review the results and update
Most businesses take help from professionals to conduct this assessment. However, you can also do it on your own.
Take Measures for Disease Spread Prevention
Hygiene is crucial to ensure germs don’t prevail and affect your work employees. You should offer all the facilities necessary to maintain a hygienic work environment, which includes:
Sanitary, well-maintained restrooms
Proper drainage system
Availability of clean water
Clean floors, walls, and furniture
In regard to Covid-19, it’s important that your employees are vaccinated. You can ask them to provide evidence.
There should be regular tests to prevent the spread if an employee has recently fallen ill. Also, to assist sick employees, make policies like paid leaves and insurance.
Make Health & Safety Representatives
It’s pointless to introduce safety and health measures if there isn’t someone to ensure them. You will not always be around to supervise how things are working at the office. So, it’s best to appoint health and safety representatives.
These people will monitor the level of safety and will help minimize the incidents. The presence of these representatives will also ensure that employees can approach and report injuries immediately.