Create a staff safety manual for better protection
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires companies to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Employees have the legal right to expect a safe and healthy work environment. While workplace health and safety may seem like a cost to business owners, it has benefits in terms of productivity and loyalty. Business owners need to understand that a safe workplace is a key part of developing a positive corporate culture.
A company may have a security program in place, it’s not good for the company if people aren’t held accountable. When companies recognize the value of safety responsibility, they can leverage this learning to improve quality, production, cost control and customer service.
Most employers would agree that preventing accidents and potential employee fatalities is a natural priority. Security issues don’t stem from malicious intent, but arise when companies take shortcuts and don’t take the time to train their employees in security protocols.
The manager or owner of a small business requires close attention to the details of the activities that take place in the workplace. However, it is impossible for them to supervise employees every minute. In such cases, it is common to develop standards for employees and formalize them as policies and procedures in an organized safety manual.
The safety manual can help prevent illness, injury or death to employees and people in the workplace. When developing the manual, think about the daily tasks of employees. They may handle chemicals as part of their job.
Establish safety procedures in the safety manual, explaining how employees can safely handle chemicals when performing hazardous tasks. Let employees know where they can find Material Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for handling chemicals. Explain SDS information if necessary.
A safety manual is effective in preventing accidents. It describes the activities necessary to accomplish tasks in accordance with safety regulations, industry practices, or even company standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The manual must be accessible to every employee, updated with up-to-date information, and employees must be trained in accordance with the manual.
If possible, the manual should be written in the languages understood by the employees. Then the company can hold employees accountable if they don’t follow the manual’s SOPs.
Beyond the business costs of workers’ compensation and OSHA legal requirements, company reputation must also be considered.
Having a safety manual that addresses known workplace hazards and how employees can protect themselves is good for a company’s reputation. If an accident occurs and an investigation reveals that the company is negligent and has no SOP, damage to the company’s reputation can destroy business in extreme cases.
Employee safety programs are designed to help employers and employees reduce workplace injuries and illnesses. Investing in workplace safety programs and manuals will bring substantial long-term financial gains.
Wong Soo Kan