Small businesses face many challenges, such as limited finances and personnel. On top of these, owners and managers also deal with occupational health and safety concerns. If you are a small business owner, there are plenty of resources that can help you address workplace health and safety issues without a major investment of time and money. Here are some of the things you have to consider to make sure the safety of your small business is up to date.
Common hazards in the workplace
Different businesses in various industries have their own occupational health and safety hazards. The most common among these are slipping and falling, chemical and gas exposure, electrocution or explosion, getting struck by objects, and transportation accidents. As a business owner or manager, you should assess which hazards are most damaging to your employees and your business. Some may affect your business continuity, while other may pose serious threats to the welfare of your employees. Look at your risk factors and determine where your problems are so you can take the necessary precautions.
Job hazard analysis and risk mapping
It is important to step back and examine your business procedures as well as your facilities so you can take precautions. Do a job hazard analysis to see the types of equipment your employees use and interact with on a daily basis. Risk mapping involves examining the facilities and physical surroundings of your employees. Looking at these aspects objectively can help you determine where your protection and prevention measures need to be.
Safety adds value
Your business may be small, but if you are able to address the safety and health issues in your workplace, you add value to your business and even save money. Business costs that are associated with injuries in the workplace are estimated to be at almost $170 billion, which come straight from the company’s profits. If you are able to address the safety issues and prevent injury, you automatically lower your employees’ compensation insurance costs and reduce medical expenditures. Other direct cost-savings include the following:
Smaller expenditures for return-to-work programs
Less money spent for overtime benefits
Fewer faulty products in the workplace
Having safety measures in place also decreases the costs of doing business due to increased morale and productivity among employees, better use of human resources, and reduced turnover.
Have a checklist
One of the examples of preventive measures in the workplace is making use of checklists for every task. For instance, employees who are assigned with checking and replacing trailer tires may also do well to follow a safety checklist for tire inflation. A safe practice procedure should be posted at the tire changing area and strictly enforced to prevent injuries resulting from an explosion. The checklist should remind workers to check whether the tire inflation hose has the proper clip-on chuck, if the tire inflation control valve shuts off the air flow automatically when the valve is released, if a tire restraining device is used, and so on.
No matter how small your business is, it is your responsibility to make sure your employees are protected on the job. It is also up to you to make your workers understand the safety procedures and follow them for their own protection. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.