Jan 06

Risk Management Basics: Tips for Keeping Employees Safe

Employee safety is a critical part of business operations. Ensuring employee safety is important for good standing with laws and safety regulatory agencies, creating a productive and positive work environment, and overall business operations and productivity. Risk assessment, policy enforcement, emergency plans and policy review can help any employer evaluate, enforce and improve employee safety.

Assess Risk

The employer has to take a realistic look at the potential dangers posed to employees in a given work environment. Here, a risk matrix will clearly organize the probably frequency of a safety infraction or accident and approximately how much harm such an infraction would cause. There will be situations where trimming or minimizing environments or operations at the medium-high areas of the risk matrix is simply unfeasible given the nature of certain business operations like oil drilling, heavy manufacturing or mining. In this case, employee safety training, with emphasis on proper use and respect for machinery, should not be done on the cheap. Aside from ethical perspectives regarding employee safety, investments in employee safety training and proper equipment use will result in far lesser legal risk and cost if an accident and lawsuit occurs.

Policy Enforcement

Enforcing safety policy may seem like a drag on operations and resources since such investigation and enforcement is rarely a revenue-producing operation. However, as mentioned, reducing danger to employees and consequent legal risk is a big enough reason for rigorous enforcement of safety policy. More so, existing and potential employees will value and appreciate a work environment that considers their safety as well as their productivity.

Emergency Plans

Create emergency and back-up emergency plans in case of large-scale danger. These plans would be in response to unlikely, but severe, events on the risk matrix. Despite the best planning and prevention measures, freak accidents can and will happen.

Safety Policy Review

Employers should objectively review and evaluate employee safety policies. As always, there are discrepancies between safety measures drawn up based on theory and their execution in reality. Improving and “patching up” gaps in employee safety protocols can significantly improve overall employee safety.

If safety protocols are sparse or minimal, employees and other parties will notice and react with substantial antagonism to an offending employer. It is far better to invest in employee training and safety than to fend off legal, financial and public relations burdens that are a consequence of putting employees in harm’s way.

Informational Credit to Arpac Storage Systems Corp

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