Six tips to create safe work environments

May 11, 2018

When we go to work each day, we assume that we will come home safe and sound. Unfortunately, too many of us do not, due to lapses in workplace safety.

At GardaWorld, we believe that providing an accident-free workplace for our employees is as important as providing quality services to our clients. 

Workplace safety is a critical, even vital, topic that needs to be a priority for employers everywhere. The International Labour Organization estimates that 2.3 million people succumb to work-related accidents or diseases each year, which translates to over 6,000 deaths daily. Globally, there are approximately 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually.

What can be done to improve workplace safety? Read these six tips to find out:

1. Commit to making safety a priority.

  • Put safety on the agenda as a regular topic to cover, so other managers and employees know you take it seriously — and they should also.
  • Conduct periodic safety audits that are intentionally highly visible, so work teams get the message that safety matters.

2. Conduct regular workplace inspections and correct unsafe practices.

  • Look for hazardous situations like improperly stored chemicals, overstacking of goods, overused electrical outlets, and other dangerous conditions.
  • Identify potential situations that could lead to criminal harm to employees, whether robbery, assault, or worse. Employees don’t intentionally make their workplaces unsafe but their own ignorance and inattentiveness can harm them.

3. Train employees and managers.

Ignorance shouldn’t be an excuse for any unsafe situation or consequence but too often it’s a root cause of them.

4. Provide well-maintained tools and equipment. 

Too often, workers take short cuts and use the wrong tools or equipment just to get work done faster. Proper training again comes into play here: they must be taught how to properly use and maintain tools and equipment, along with periodic reinforcement training.

5. Report, investigate and document all accidents.

If an incident occurs — no matter whether it’s big or small or whether it’s an accident, a health problem, or a physical crime— respond appropriately and call the proper authorities immediately. All incidents should be investigated, to identify and correct their causes.

6. Recognize and reward good behaviors.

When employees report unsafe situations, recognize and reward them appropriately. It can be as simple as saying thank you. The “thank you” should be done in a visible way, either in a team meeting or by a companywide memo. You want all employees to realize that safety is valued and will be rewarded.

Workplace safety is also good business. Studies have shown that companies taking safety seriously via formal safety programs tend to perform better — in terms of quality, delivery and financially — than those that don’t.

Workplace safety includes protecting employees and visitors against criminal harm and providing for onsite emergency response capabilities. For more information, contact your local GardaWorld representative or visit our website.