How to Create a Safer Workplace for your Illinois Business
Every workplace has safety hazards. Whether the hazards are slick floors, dangerous equipment or even a sharp edge on a file cabinet, they exist everywhere. It is the employer's responsibility to find these hazards and implement ways to minimize safety risks. When employees are safe, they are more productive. For example, consider a workplace with dim lighting. If employees must assemble sharp objects in such a workplace, the dim lighting could lead to multiple injuries. Replacing the existing light bulbs with brighter ones would help the employees see better, so the likelihood of injuries would be reduced.
Safety programs are important for every workplace. They involve forming and implementing various safety measures. For example, a factory manager who orders upgraded equipment would need to identify the safety risks of the new devices. He or she would need to develop a safety plan for employees who must use the equipment. However, not all job risks are in factories or even in offices. If a worker must travel, employers need to identify what types of risks the employee faces during trips. Dangerous neighborhoods, icy roads or risky tasks are all issues employers must consider for traveling employees. One of the most overlooked workplace dangers is unstable employees. Whether they have personal or work-related issues with co-workers, unstable workers may be the perpetrators of workplace violence incidents. It is important for employers to discuss these issues with employees, and they should know what signs to look for in a dangerous employee.
One of the best ways to offer incentives for reducing on-the-job accidents is to offer employees a share of insurance premium reductions. In addition to this, it is important to develop a solid plan that includes applicable points from the following list of suggestions:
- Carefully match applicants to the best jobs for their individual abilities and skills.
- Mark all exits, passages and aisles clearly, and make sure they are kept clear of debris.
- Comply with all OSHA IIPP requirements.
- Install enhanced security systems to prevent burglaries, stop fires and monitor activities.
- Install slip-resistant surfaces on stairs, and make sure each staircase has handrails.
- Make sure lighting is optimal.
- Keep a first aid kit in an accessible place, and post emergency instructions in visible areas.
- Never allow productivity measures to compromise the safety of employees.
- Make sure safety equipment has electrical grounding, guards and easy-to-use power switches.
- Elect a safety officer, and conduct safety meetings regularly.
- Require drug tests for new employees and for existing employees after accidents.
- Make sure all furniture and office equipment pieces are ergonomically designed.
- Perform a criminal background check on all candidates who are applying for positions of responsibility for infants or the elderly.
- Conduct pre-hire and annual DMV checks on all employees who drive on the job.
- Set smoking rules, and be sure to encourage anti-tobacco campaigns.
- Provide employees with protective gear required for their jobs, and provide instructions for proper use of protective wear.
- Meet all hazardous materials reporting requirements.
- Communicate emergency response plans with employees.
- Require ill employees to go home instead of letting them work with dangerous equipment.
- Perform routine inspections on equipment for functionality.
- Address the issue of indoor pollution problems by requiring regular inspections and maintaining proper ventilation.