When you run a business, taking good care of the health and safety of your employees is just one of your many important responsibilities. But just because you have so much other “more important” stuff on your plate, doesn’t mean it’s something you can neglect.
Failing to factor in health and safety practices in your business, no matter the nature of it, can have far-reaching consequences for you and your staff. Here are some common mistakes business owners have already made – so that you don’t have to.
Lack of Proper Training and Education
It’s easy to assume that new staff (or even existing staff) will simply know the lay of the land, have all the required skills for their job, or be able to figure it out as they go along – in many cases this is a disaster waiting to happen.
Providing proper education and training on any processes, equipment, machinery, and certain tasks is essential. Make sure that you provide regular training to keep your employees’ skills sharp and their know-how up to date.
Failing to Provide Proper Safety Equipment
Some businesses will also need to provide proper equipment to keep their employees safe. Depending on the nature of your industry, you might need to provide gear like hard hats, gloves, respiration masks, industrial ear muffs, boots, or even headlamps.
Make sure that all of your employees are equipped with high-quality gear that will keep them safe, and replace anything that is worn or damaged. In a similar vein, it’s also your responsibility to ensure that equipment, machinery, and tools are all properly maintained.
Ignoring Ergonomics and Health
Even if your business is danger-free and office-based, you still need to consider health concerns and the overall wellbeing of your employees.
For example, making the effort to improve ergonomics in the workplace is an important step. Hours spend at a desk can cause severe and long-lasting back and neck pain, chronic headaches, etc. Eye-strain is another common issue in desk-workers, and making the effort to alleviate this and encouraging your staff to take breaks can make a significant difference.
Inadequate Emergency Preparedness
No matter what your business location looks like – a construction site, an office, a retail store, a restaurant, or something different – emergencies can happen. This could be a fire, a robbery, flooding, or other threats to your health and safety.
This is why no matter where you are, it’s crucial that you develop a company emergency plan. Make sure that you have these plans in place, and practice drills with your staff on a regular basis.
Disregarding Mental Health and Wellbeing
Finally, don’t forget that mental health is a part of overall health and wellbeing, and you should be invested in how your team is doing on all fronts.
Taking care of your staff’s mental health simply means hearing them and their needs, acknowledging good performance, and offering them support. Allowing your employees time away from computers and cell phones is important from their mental health too – so make sure to respect the boundaries of their time off.