If you’re an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure your employees feel safe in their workplace. It doesn’t matter if you work in an office or in a warehouse, accidents and unexpected events happen all the time, and without question the best way to mitigate damage is through preparation.
There are several ways to immediately transform your workplace into a safer environment, including:
- Discuss possible threats
- Make a plan
- Practice emergency drills
- Practice awareness
- Self-defense training
- Assigning leaders
There are many threats in the modern workplace, from natural disasters to active shooters, and while you shouldn’t attempt to scare your employees into a state of hyper-vigilance, discussing the threats posed by these possibilities goes a long way toward improving safety.
Most people have an “it would never happen here” mindset when it comes to unexpected disasters. When you meet with your employees, acknowledge that while the chances might be low, preparation is nonetheless essential.
Make A Plan
When an emergency happens, the last thing your employees should have to do is make critical decisions. During emergencies, adrenaline runs high and the ability to think critically is hindered. Without a plan in place, your employees might panic and make poor decisions, exacerbating the potential consequences.
Consider making plans for:
- Earthquakes, tornadoes and other location-specific natural disasters
- Active shooters
You should have a plan ready for every possible scenario, and your employees should all be fully aware of what those plans are. If everyone isn’t on the same page, that will only cause dangerous, unnecessary confusion should an event take place. Reviewing these plans in safety seminars should be adopted as a regular practice.
Practice Emergency Drills
Simply discussing a plan is not enough. That would be like a basketball coach describing plays in practice but never actually running drills. When game time arrives, how do you think the players would fare?
Drills should be practiced with semi-regularity, meaning at least once a quarter. Employees will not only react with confidence if a surprise event should occur, but they will also feel more comfortable coming to work knowing that there is a plan in place should an incident occur. If you believe the chance that an event could happen is too low to justify practising drills, review P&C insurance news for a look at some telling insurance facts and statistics.
It can be easy to mentally check out during the course of a workday. It happens across all professions and places of business, from high rise offices to warehouses. Unfortunately, if your employees are not aware of their surroundings it’s possible to overlook suspicious activity.
There are a few ways to increase awareness, including:
- Mindfulness: While some might think meditation is just another hokey wellness trend, the practice is ancient and has been proven to increase the ability to concentrate and stay focused over long periods of time. Practicing mindfulness with your employees is a great way to promote awareness.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is almost as ancient as meditation. Despite the benefits to worker productivity, many offices don’t offer coffee or other energy drinks to their employees. If this sounds like your office, know that offering complimentary coffee to your employees is a way to show gratitude while also increasing safety.
Consider Self-Defense Training
Self-defense training is both a work perk and a way to increase your employees’ confidence. In the event that self-defense becomes necessary in the workplace, this type of training can end up saving lives.
If your business has grown so that you work from a large office building or a warehouse, the mad scramble that may ensue during an unexpected event can lead to unnecessarily dangerous situations. In addition to planning and practicing drills, one of the best ways to mitigate the chance of unnecessary risk is by assigning team leaders that will guide the flow of people.
Employee Safety | An Imperative
As an employer, it’s not enough to simply post signs around the workplace that highlight escape routes. The way to save lives and keep your employees safe is by making plans, running drills, practicing awareness, and taking steps to educate your employees in the art of self-defense. The world might be unpredictable, but through careful preparation we can be ready for whatever it throws our way.