A safe and secure workplace is a goal shared among business owners. When employees feel that they are well taken care of, their health and safety a priority, they become more productive. Laws and regulations aside, it’s important to note that every organization has its safety culture and safety climate.
Workplace security sounds more straightforward as it deals with the protection of persons against intruders and potential injuries, as well as safeguarding the company’s physical and digital assets. What is important is you, as a business owner, can enhance existing working conditions so everyone can work in peace and harmony.
Invest in Security Systems
Being a small business is no excuse not to invest in access control systems. Their presence is a deterrent to thieves and burglars and, in the case of fire and smoke alarms, a requisite for local building codes. You can also check with security cameras and intrusion alarms, whichever will strengthen your comprehensive security system.
Educate Employees on Workplace Security
You may have security personnel and sophisticated biometrics, but do involve your employees as well in the security design. Be clear about rules on admitting visitors, shutting possible entry and exit points, and reporting suspicious activities to you or the human resource department. Revisit and update such guidelines regularly.
Secure Your Network
Now more than ever, you need to be on the same page as hackers are, if not a step ahead of them. They can compromise your company’s computer systems, including hardware and software.
With bad guys breaching networks and the like, first secure your router, a key piece of your wireless network, and make sure no unauthorized person can access it. Rename your network’s SS ID because evildoers can quickly look up the brand and model if you use the default name, limit the Wi-Fi range, and enable encryption.
Also, teach your employees to spot irregularities in emails and websites that they visit every day. One safe practice is to scan USB memory sticks with the antivirus software before accessing them in office computers.
Make a Plan, and Train
A health and safety plan is indispensable to any business. Its purposes include the following:
- Serves as the backbone of the workplace’s safety measures and procedures
- Outlines everyone’s roles and responsibilities
- Identifies and addresses risks to mitigate injuries
- Contains a response plan for disasters and emergencies. (There may be a separate emergency and disaster response plan.)
With such events striking any minute and exempting no one, employees should be sufficiently trained and prepared to act during such times. Exposure to simulation exercises and drills for natural disasters is also helpful.
Reduce the Risk of Infectious Diseases
A combination of personal hygiene and workplace cleanliness helps control the spread of diseases that cause absenteeism and low productivity. Brief your cleaning staff about washing and disinfecting the place, as well as properly disposing of infectious waste. Hold employees to higher standards by washing hands, not sharing personal items, and staying at home when they have a cold or flu.
Provide a Conflict-Resolution Process
Aside from a world war that brings chaos and uncertainty in employment, conflicts can arise at work. Whether stemming from a simple or complex issue, such incidents can create a tension-filled and toxic environment. If your current policies tend to avoid these conflicts, now’s the time to adopt a firmer dispute resolution process, one that’s well-articulated and effective in dealing conflicts for a positive working environment.
Conduct Drug Tests
Drug testing is one way for employers to maintain health and safety in the workplace. You can require it for preemployment with a urine drug test. For a right-here-right-now incident, you can compel those involved to take a mouth swab drug test (MSDT), which is an inexpensive and convenient option.
This resource talks about MSDT in detail, something that can help employers and employees. Put policies in place to deal with the results of the drug test.
Foster an Open, Conducive Environment
This may as well constitute the final tip. Openness and transparency in the workplace go both ways: employees come clean about their issues, and the management resolves disputes and anything that can affect everyone’s health and safety.
So encourage open communication with your people, and meet them regularly. Listen to their concerns and share yours as well; both parties can come up with solutions or even compromise for everyone’s benefit.