Well-designed office safety policies and procedures help organizations meet their legal duties and responsibilities to keep employees healthy and safe at work. As a business owner or safety manager, you can develop and establish a health and safety management system to comply.
However, it is unfortunate that there are businesses that rely on documented procedures, forms, and policies. A health and safety management system is more than that. Its contents and measures should be achieved in a managed and continuous way. It should include features that make a good system adaptable.
Developing a Health and Safety System
A health and safety management system should evolve and be improved consistently. It must foster a strong corporate culture that provides feedback to improve and manage its policies and procedures. It should integrate with existing management systems that help make informed decisions. These features are more effective in meeting safety goals and minimizing safety risks compared to documentation alone.
In truth, even without a health and safety system in place, every business has its own elements that keep employees safe. What’s often lacking is using these elements to create a coordinated approach that can improve worker safety. To use these elements in developing an office health and safety system, you must apply highly effective practices.
- Analyze Problem Areas
Problem areas are vital elements in developing a health and safety system. According to the College of Justice and Safety of Eastern Kentucky University, it’s where you should start.
When analyzing problems, key questions must be asked. What areas pose the risk of injury the most? What procedures need to be regularly improved and reviewed? Are there policies that need updating?
When asking these questions, it’s essential to get answers from staff. They are more aware of the dangers in an office. Their feedback is valuable in improving safety programs.
- Inform Employees About Safety and Health Regularly
Safety policies should be accessible to everyone. However, it’s more important for your organization to discuss these policies with employees regularly. This can help everyone to understand the gravity of workplace safety and its adoption.
Frequent health and safety reminders and messages can help your business create productive and loyal employees. When they see that you value their health and safety, they feel respected. At the same time, it shows your corporate values, reinforcing the right safety behaviors.
More importantly, show your employees that you prioritize their health and safety over productivity. Often, employees get lost in their daily work, necessitating regular health and safety reminders.
- Conduct Safety Training Regularly
Aside from providing regular information and communication about safety, a safe office prioritizes continuous safety education of its employees. With this in mind, your company should provide safety training. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposes three components to make up good safety training.
First, it should provide employees with knowledge of how to do their jobs safely and properly. Second, it should raise awareness about the correct ways of eliminating hazards and reducing risks. Third, it should allow employees to earn specializations specific to their jobs. OSHA believes these components can reduce the frequency of safety-related incidents and improve overall safety.
- Provide Secure Equipment
Your office should provide basic safety equipment. Fire safety features such as fire extinguishers and fire alarms should top the list. There should be adequate warning signs and evacuation plan posters. Every floor or department should have its own sanitation and first aid kits.
Workstations should be equipped with ergonomic equipment, from chairs to keyboards. If you have high shelves in your office, there should be step-stools and ladders that employees can freely use. If workers need to lift heavy items, there should be a trolley available for this purpose. Employees who need to handle hazardous substances must be provided with personal protection equipment (PPE).
Your office should provide the necessary tools to remove root causes of injuries and accidents to promote health and safety.
- Provide Safety Technology
Your company’s health and safety management system should include safety tools to prepare employees against injuries and accidents. Safety technology includes safety management software, alert systems, safety-related incident reporting software, and fire protection barriers like commercial fire rated double doors.
When using technology, software should be highly accessible. Safety software available through mobile applications are the most efficient safety technology you can use in your offices. Fire safety equipment, on the one hand, should be effective in preventing fires from spreading. This way, evacuating employees have more time to leave building premises. Both software and equipment must be systematic as well.
Normalizing Office Safety
Office safety should be the norm in your organization. It shouldn’t be just a standard operating procedure; it’s more than a business process. If you really want to keep your employees healthy, safe, and satisfied, your company needs to commit to an established safe and healthy culture. Consider the safety management practices above, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving that.