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5 tips to improve health and safety in a start up organisation

Five Tips to Improve Safety & Health Management in a Startup Organization

Health and safety are always important to any business, especially when you’re new on the block. It’s part of any employer’s responsibility to give employees a safe work environment. Installing a safety and health program can be a step in the right direction when it comes to preventing work-related injuries.

However, it helps to have a program in place to make the job much easier. Use these five tips to make your safety management program a stunning success.

1. Create a plan – As an employer, it’s your responsibility to identify and minimize potential hazards to create a safe work environment. The first step to doing just that is developing a safety plan. Consider the potential risks in your workplace (e.g. machinery breakdowns, chemical spills, and improperly-stacked boxes) to think of how to eliminate them. For example, schedule regular maintenance to ensure all machinery is kept in good condition and follow the basic maintenance tips for hydraulics, and make sure all employees have access to a first-aid kit. Share the guidelines you make with your workforce to ensure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Keep up with maintenance to avoid accidents
Keep up with maintenance to avoid accidents

2. Perform regular inspections – Inspect the workplace frequently to ensure that everything is in order. Keep an eye out for potential dangers (e.g. tangled cords, wet floors, and disorganized tools). Pay special attention to equipment and tools; making sure all equipment is in good order helps make better products and keeps your work environment safe. Be on top of maintenance to keep all the equipment working safely. Inspections also give you a chance to review employees’ knowledge of safety regulations. For example, do employees know where the fire exits are, or how to lift objects safely? Check the storage areas and review safe work procedures to see that employees are up to date with safety guidelines.

3. Provide adequate training – Comprehensive training is a must for keeping your employees safe. Knowing how to perform their jobs properly helps employees avoid potential injury and damage. Make sure all your employees are given adequate training to handle equipment safely. Some jobs require specialized education (e.g. forklift operators) to ensure they can do their assigned tasks without risk of injury. Be sure to provide employees with written instructions and procedures they can use to review when they are unsure about how to proceed with tasks. The role of the supervisor, with Supervisor Competency Awareness Training, must make sure to provide supervision for employees to check that they’re using their training correctly.

Work with employees for a safer workplace
Work with employees for a safer workplace

4. Implement safety protocols from the start – Workplace safety starts from day one. Make sure all personnel in your organization are following the safety guidelines and protocols as soon as you start your business. One simple thing you can do is make sure all signs and labels are in place from the beginning. These signs are simple ways of conveying important information quickly, which can be good reminders even for experienced workers. Consider working with specialists (e.g. physical therapists and clinicians) for professional medical advice. These experts can identify more ways to keep the workplace safe and healthy (for example, improving ergonomics).

5. Keep an open dialogue – One source of information that never gets old is employee feedback. Always make it easy for your workers to meet with you and share their concerns. It’s a golden opportunity to learn about potential hazards before they present a concern. Your employees may also find areas of concern that may have escaped your notice. Encourage your employees to share their own ideas on how to keep the workplace safe as well. As the ones using the work environment, your employees are in a great position to offer direct insight. For greater organization, consider appointing a safety captain responsible for communicating employee concerns on a regular basis.

Making a basic safety policy for a startup is a fairly simple job; it’s much easier to keep track of your employees and resources, and easier to develop plans to maximize safety. Alternatively, you can get in touch with safety consultants to take your health and safety management to the next level.

Your employees are a vital resource for your organization, and one that needs to be safeguarded and cultivated like any other. Use these tips to help create a safer work environment; your people will thank you for it!

Photos:

1. Pop & Zebra

2. Gerald Oswald

3. Yerson Retamal

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