World Health Day – Employee Health & Safety
In honor of National World Health Day, we are promoting the importance of Employee Health and Safety guidelines. Managers should utilize all resources possible to create and maintain health and safety standards for their employees within their organization. Human Resources has a vital role in ensuring employee health and safety practices be used in order to boost and sustain employee health and safety in the workplace. You can do this by considering these four simple practices:
Establish Open Communication
A key component of maintaining employee trust is encouraging open communication on any and all health and safety issues observed. No employee should fear expressing concern or bringing light to an issue they believe interferes with the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) goals of the company. To prevent a fear of communication, recruit and educate the best supervisors to encourage accessibility and interaction within each department. Develop a hiring process that heavily weighs a potential supervisor’s concern for the safety of themselves and those around them. Require human resources personnel to hold one-on-one meetings to actively check-in with employees. An employee feeling hesitant to express concern to their direct manager may feel more comfortable speaking with human resources professionals. Address minor health and safety issues, such as a spreading illness or commute weather advisory, via a company-wide notice or email.
Implement Strict Safety Policies
Ideally, a workplace is completely hazard-free. However, some trades, such as ground construction and mechanical engineering, inherently involve precarious work and unstable environments. Employees not designated to work in certain high-risk positions should be discouraged from entering hazardous zones or attempting jobs they are not certified to complete. Spread awareness by labeling unsafe environments, posting general warning signs and referencing the qualifications needed to enter various regions of a worksite. For corporate office environments that present less physical risk, identify all potential hazards early on and control minor dangerous mishaps, such as broken glass or plumbing leaks.
Coordinate with Facility Management
Similarly to HR, facilities departments play an important part in carrying out safety policies for businesses. By harmonizing OSH goals, HR and facilities managers can better protect employees. HR specialists are aware of the work environment and the unique risks that employees encounter under specific circumstances. Encourage facility managers to invest in products designed to prevent slip and fall accidents, such as anti-slip safety mats, and restroom handrails. In addition to promoting safety and hygiene, these simple yet effective safety products cultivate a general sense of wellbeing in the workplace.
Provide Health and Safety Training
Implement required safety training programs for all employees. These programs should include first aid and emergency action plan training. Supply each work zone with first aid kits so small injuries can be quickly remedied. Hold fire and emergency drills as required by jurisdiction; also ensure these procedures are taken seriously and incite active engagement. Encourage employees to be responsible and take sick time when necessary without reprimand.
The best way to execute these strategies is to commit to improving workplace health and safety standards. If necessary, make these goals a part of a yearly business development plan.
With safety standards in place, a business can avoid potential lawsuits and other monetary loss. Further, an employee-focused culture that emphasizes health and safety creates a positive environment for optimal job satisfaction, morale, and productivity.
Four Practices provided by: Sarah Walden | Occupational Health & Safety Writer for Umbrella Blog | http://www.trinet.com/blog/2014/03/07/four-hr-strategies-to-promote-employee-health-and-safety/