Playing It Safe: How Business Owners Can Prevent Workplace Injuries
Whether you own a business with just a few employees or hundreds, it’s important that you keep a safe workplace. While not every accident can be prevented, Rhode Island business owners should understand that many are preventable if safety standards and procedures are put in place.
Not only do you want your employees to remain productive and injury-free, but by being proactive with safety standards you can also avoid costly personal injury cases.
Here are some ways you can avoid injuries at your business:
- Put someone in charge. There is a lot to know when it comes to official workplace safety standards in Rhode Island, as well as unofficial steps you can do to keep things safe. As a business owner you may not have the time to dedicate to safety, so find an employee who can focus on these things. You should also consider providing formal health and safety training to this employee.
- Create a dedicated health and safety guidebook for all employees. Everything pertaining to workplace safety needs to be documented so that all employees are aware of policies and procedures.
- Conduct a yearly assessment of potential risks in your business. There may be hidden dangers lurking on the premises that you’re not even aware of if you don’t perform a risk assessment on a regular basis. Go through your business and carefully think about possible personal injury risks, and then outline steps that can be taken to remedy the problem. You should include your employees in the risk assessment, because they can provide insight into areas you might not realize carry a risk.
- Don’t skimp on employee training. Employees need to be thoroughly trained on how to use equipment and do their jobs correctly. While it can be tempting to cut corners, it’s important that small business owners ensure training is done correctly from the start to avoid accidents in the future.
- Keep your business in tip-top shape. That means you perform a thorough spring cleaning each year, and keep things maintained in between. Some of the primary reasons workplace accidents occur are because of small issues like damaged carpet, cluttered stairways, or dim lighting. Make sure you always inspect your business for any signs of clutter or things that could lead to potential accidents. Keep walkways and stairwells clear and well-lit, and enforce a policy that employees are responsible for keeping their own work areas clean and clutter-free. This includes not just the interior of a business, but also the exterior common areas and parking lots. It’s advisable to create a maintenance checklist, to be completed on a regular basis. Not only does this help you ensure your business is safe, but it also provides you with some form of documentation about the safety steps you’ve taken, in the event an employee does try to file a personal injury lawsuit against you.
Business owners have a responsibility to maintain a safe workplace for their employees, and while it can take some time and effort, in the end avoiding a personal injury lawsuit often makes it well w