No matter the size of your business, safety is critical to its success. Safety concerns and workplace emergencies directly impact not only your employees and customers but also your finances, from lost working days to lawsuits.
The latest statistics available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that in 2010, there were 1,191,100 cases of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in major industries. Moreover, these injuries kept employees away from work for a median of 8 days. While every industry has different liability levels, employees of every kind are subject to injury. Here are some tips to address two of the most common safety concerns:
Slips and Falls: Falls are the number one cause of injury in the workplace. Make sure you have proper signage in areas with water or slippery floors. Roads and highways often have warning signs to alert motorists of dangerous conditions, and the same should apply to any unsafe areas in the workplace. Also, many falls are caused by workers using improper lifting techniques for carrying everything from boxes to patients. Following the three pieces of advice below can help prevent falls.
· Assess areas and activities within your company in which potential falls could occur and develop a plan to address them.
· Take steps to ensure employees are wearing the correct type of shoes, preferably those that are slide resistant or have strong tread.
· Advise employees to use proper lifting techniques.
Fire Safety: In any situation involving fire, the first step is to stay calm. Preparation is the key to avoiding panic during a crisis, so you need to develop an emergency evacuation plan and have regular fire drills. The plan should include an exit strategy (with alternate routes if possible in case an exit is blocked) and a meeting place where you can account for all employees. Conduct these drills at least once a year, and preferably more often. Be sure all employees learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Create a phone tree to contact your entire staff.
The state of Utah has great resources to help ensure your business and employees are safe. One such resource is the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Labor Commission. It provides assistance through consultation, training and education for both employers and employees. The organization also enforces and establishes occupational safety and health standards. For more information on how the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division can help your business, please visit http://www.laborcommission.utah.gov/WorkplaceSafety/index.html.
Let Zions Bank’s Business Resource Center assist you with your business needs. Call us for a free appointment at (801) 594-8245. We are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beth Holbrook can be reached at email@example.com.