Workplace safety is one of the main concerns of the modern employer. It is one of the most important aspects of a successful business because a healthy and safe employee is happier and more productive. So, to provide a safe working environment, here are six necessary items to have:
One of the most common emergencies in the workplace is fire. And when that happens, you do not want to find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a fire extinguisher. It can be a great asset when dealing with smaller scale fires and trying to give your employees a chance to evacuate. However, having a fire extinguisher is not enough in itself. You and your employees need proper training when it comes to handling this equipment and dealing with stressful situations like this. Training should be conducted at least on an annual basis, and fire extinguishers should be checked regularly, to make sure everything is in order.
First aid kits
Every company and workplace needs a first aid kit, no matter how many employees it has, and it is up to the employer to estimate first aid needs. This usually depends on the number of employees and the nature of the job itself. Every workplace is different, and they pose various potential hazards, so it is critical to assess what those dangers might be. That being said, a usual first aid kit needs to have at least some of the following: bandages, plasters, gloves, scissors, cleansing wipes and safety masks. The best practice is to have one person in charge of first aid. This means that these people will be the ones who will know when the first aid kits need to be replenished, and who will call the emergency when such time comes.
Fire detection and alarms
Having a properly functioning fire extinguisher is necessary, but when dealing with fires on a larger scale, it usually isn’t enough. So, reliable fire detection and warning systems will ensure a successful and quick evacuation. Fire detection systems are best used in working environments where fire, for any reason, could not be detected at once. That being said, every workplace should have one, and implement its use after training from the local fire authorities. These detection systems should automatically be connected with warning systems, so when it gets to a hazardous situation, employees are notified on time, and they can access any designated escape route without a problem. Warning systems should have a noticeable and strong sound so that even people with hearing disabilities or employees who work in a loud environment could hear these alarms.
Dangerous goods storage
More often than not, companies have to deal with hazardous materials and items, which can pose a threat to the employees, customers and the overall environment. So, having a dedicated place to store dangerous goods is not only recommended but a legal necessity. The main risks that come from hazardous substances are explosions, fires, and spillages. It is necessary to identify dangerous materials that are being used, and the risks they bring in. After you have estimated potential dangers, you need to determine how you will address those issues. The best way to safely deposit those substances is to get a safety cabinet that meets all your requirements. However, bear in mind, not all cabinets are the same, and cannot be used for all purposes. Every cabinet is designed for a specific dangerous material and must be used in accordance with that.
Sudden loss of electricity and light could lead to serious risks to you, your employees or your customers. These potential threats could be largely reduced by emergency lighting. When the main power supply shuts down, and traditional lighting sources are out, emergency lighting provides enough illumination so that all people present could clearly see and efficiently use the available evacuation routes. Not having a light source could lead to panic, and seriously hinder the evacuation process. Since emergency lighting has become a legal requirement, most new buildings and workplaces install them during construction, before they even start with work.
Personal protective equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to minimize vulnerability at the workplace, and to protect from potential physical, electrical, chemical or any other hazards. Most commonly used PPE are helmets, gloves, shoes, glasses, earplugs, vests and respirators. All PPE should be accessible and easy to use and properly maintained. Every company should encourage constant use of these features, and even sanction those who do not use them. Usually, employers are required to provide training on how to use PPE to their employees, and to appoint a person who will make sure that it is continuously and adequately utilized.
Worker safety should be taken seriously, to ensure all your employees are healthy and well at the end of the workday. Having all the necessary equipment is vital for this process, but it will do little good if the employees are not informed of the benefits of knowing their safety procedures and encouraged to use the safety equipment continually!