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Monday, June 15, 2015

Minimize workplace incidents: Create a safe place for employees and customers

Owning or managing a business certainly has its rewards, but it can have its stressful moments too. Not only are you responsible for the needs and satisfaction of your customers and employees, but you are also in charge of keeping them safe from workplace incidents that can result in injury. An injury within in the workplace has the potential to lead to legal trouble so it’s important that you take the steps to prevent such incidents before they occur.

Common employee and customer accidents, such as slip and falls, must be prevented within the interior as well as the exterior of the business. “Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents typically occur because a hazard that has not been cleaned up repaired...in most cases, this is due to the negligence of the property owner,” reports DSSLaw. Whether you are the property owner of the business or the manager, it’s vital you prevent accidents whenever possible.

Most common workplace incidents

In the workplace, the most common work-related injuries are overexertion of the body, falls, slips, and trips, or contact with an object or equipment. The injuries related to these common accidents can range from a minor strain to severe injuries leading to days away from work to a fatality. While thesework-related injuries are preventable and workplaces strive to have a “zero accident” record, thousands of workplace accidents continue to occur each year.

Before you can take steps in the prevention of accidents, it’s important to figure out why such injuries continue to occur. Are employees not following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)? Are they not trained properly? Are you missing safety equipment? Are your employees simply just clumsy? Chances are, it’s a combination of all of these things. Here are ways to make sure your workplace is a safer environment for your employees:

  • Have a safety plan in place: This is a plan that is well-known throughout the workplace, it is clear to all employees, and it detailed on what to do in the event of an injury or accident and how to proceed. Contact OSHA or view some of their samples to make your own plan.
  • Provide proper training, enforce safety: There’s a lot to cover when training a new employee, but safety should definitely covered. Even if you run a small convenience mart, your employees should know how to keep themselves safe. Whether you require safety gear, specific footwear, or other safety implements, make sure it’s enforced consistently.

Keep customer safety in mind

The success of your business can rise and fall with a customer’s experience, including an injury received in or outside of your business. Like employee injuries, slip, trips, and falls are common customer injuries, which means you need to take extra care in making sure your place of business is free from any hazards from puddles on the floor to uneven concrete to bunched up floor mats to cords strewn across the floor.

In addition to making sure your place of business is free of hazards, you should always post signs that clearly indicate a potential hazard. For example, if your floor is wet you must post wet floor signs. If your automatic door suddenly stops working, you are responsible taking quick action to have it repaired while making sure all customers know of any potential dangers involved with an inoperable door.

Keep your successful business running smoothly, make your employee and customer safety a number one priority.

* Image: Shutterstock, copyright: Lee Torrens