Every employer needs to know that each of their workers is there to earn a living by offering their skills and knowledge in exchange for a wage or salary. Just because an employee has accepted a job doesn’t mean that they have accepted all the risks they may be exposed to while on the job. Employers are required by law to improve employee safety at the workplace. In case of injuries, they are required to have systems to ensure injured workers get first aid treatment and emergency evacuation to the nearest medical facility for treatment. All their medical bills and lost wages must also be taken care of by the employer directly, or through their insurance company. In a bid to improve work safety, the following are some of the things that employers need to do:
1. Hire Qualified Workers
There is nothing as bad as hiring an unqualified forklift operator or a crane operator. This is because they can cause damage to property as well as injuries. All forklift and heavy equipment operators need to be properly trained and licensed. Machine operators also need to have professional training to ensure they can operate these machines not only properly, but also safely.
2. Have Fire Extinguishers
A small fire can grow to become a serious inferno that can raze down a building in a matter of minutes. To prevent small fires from growing into infernos, employers should have different types of fire extinguishers in different places to make it easier for employees to put out fires. If you deal with petroleum products, there should be foam-based fire extinguishers at the workplace. CO2 and water-based fire extinguishers should also be available to counter different types of fires.
3. Emergency Drills
Employees need to know how to act during an emergency. This is the key to improving work safety. There should be different drills for different types of emergencies to ensure that employees can cope well when faced with different types of emergencies.
4. Proper Signage
The workplace should have proper signage to warn employees about potential hazards. If there are chemicals, poisonous gasses, flammable liquids and gasses as well as slippery floors, there should be proper signage to warn employees to take proper precautions.
Ideally, every workplace should have someone who is in charge of workplace safety. This is the person who will be answerable for any lapses that may lead to injures. This person will be responsible for:
i) Organizing Drills
Drills help to program employees’ minds to ensure they can find their way to safety when faced with serious dangers. In case of a fire, for instance, employees should be trained to try and extinguish the fire with the available fire extinguishers, before running to the fire assembly point.
ii) Maintaining Fire Extinguishers
The safety officer will ensure that safety equipment, including fire extinguishers and fire alarms are serviced on a regular basis to ensure they do not fail when needed the most.
iii) Installing Warning Signs
The safety officer will be responsible for putting up signage to guide employees. This includes Exit signs and Danger signs among others.