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The safety culture of your company is just as essential as your workplace culture. In fact, overall, it’s the top priority.
We hear a lot about culture – https://www.newyorker.com/books/joshua-rothman/meaning-culture in the workplace, especially if you work in HR. It’s HR’s job to make sure that workers are happy because it increases productivity and encourages employee retention. Likewise, when your employees are unhappy with their working conditions, the workplace culture can become toxic pretty quickly.
Staying on top of the safety situation in your company will actually work toward a strong workplace culture.
Safeopedia – https://www.safeopedia.com/definition/489/safety-culture defines safety culture as “the culture of a workplace in which all the employees think of safety as an important thing and behave in a way that prioritizes their own safety as well as the safety of those around them.”
Creating a safe environment for your employees – https://blog.planbrothers.io/en/blogs-safety-manager-should-read is important no matter what industry you’re in. Construction and manufacturing come to mind when considering dangerous occupations, but all employers need to consider the issue.
Here are some things to consider.
While it’s a known fact that employers who implement a drug-free workplace program see reductions in absenteeism and increased productivity, the main purpose for drug testing employees is for safety’s sake.
Some companies only perform a pre-employment drug test and employees are never required to take another—unless they’re involved in a workplace accident or have presented reasonable suspicion of impairment on the job.
Others include random drug testing as part of their drug-free workplace policy. Of course, that includes all employers regulated by the Department of Transportation. However, random drug testing can be included in any drug-free workplace program unless prohibited by state or local laws.
It’s easier than ever to conduct employee drug testing now that drug testing centers – https://usamdt.com/local-branch/ are all over the country.
Of course, it makes sense to customize your safety policies to fit your industry. However, there are at least five basic safety tips that pertain to all.
Be aware of the hazards
Even if everyone is confined to an office building, reducing clutter or posting a sign to make people aware of a wet floor falls into the safety category.
Make it a point to reflect – https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/reflect on the potential hazards that could befall employees and make sure they’re aware of them.
Reduce stress in the workplace
Stress on the job – https://blog.rescuetime.com/stress/ links to health problems, higher health care costs, and an increased risk of workplace accidents.
Workplace stress can sometimes be attributed to low wages. It’s hard not to get stressed out when you’re constantly carrying around the weight of making ends meet—or worn out by working two jobs.
Other factors might be:
Lack of opportunity for advancement
Too heavy of a workload
Unreasonable job demands
Stuck in the same spot
Encourage your employees to take short breaks and get up and move around regularly throughout their workday. Our first thought might be on employees who are confined to a desk or small cubicle. However, we need to think about those who operate machinery or work on the assembly line too.
A sedentary lifestyle links to health problems.
Safe lifting techniques
Instruct employees to lift from a position of power. We all know that means lifting with your legs, not your back. It’s just as important to keep the load close to your body and to use a staggered stance rather than twisting.
The weight of the item they’re picking up is important too. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/index.htm recommends a limit of 35 pounds max.
Give employees a voice
Encourage your employees to say something if they see a safety issue. Whether it’s a frayed electrical cord or a leaking water cooler, they should feel safe telling a manager.
Don’t become a
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the three top causes of injuries in the workplace are:
Slips, trips, and falls
Strains or sprains caused by lifting incorrectly
Being hit by an object or equipment
It might be less likely for an employee to get hit with something while working in an office environment, but anything’s possible.
Ultimately, taking the time to scan your workplace for possible safety hazards is the employer’s responsibility.
You know what they say—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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