Looking Ahead: 7 Workplace Safety Trends for 2020

Workplace safety is one of the most important responsibilities of any employer but it’s not just about moral and ethical responsibility. It’s also about a strong self-interest, as well. A safe work environment is one that has an easier job of retaining employees and it’s substantially less hostile. That leads to an increase in workplace morale. Other than this, a safe workplace is one with as a few injuries as possible and the waste of material caused by these accidents is minimal. In other words, aside from it being a humane thing to do. Workplace safety is in your best interest even from a financial standpoint. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top seven workplace safety trends for 2020.

Workplace Safety Trends for 2020

  1. Wearing PPE

One of the first things that a lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of is believing that their responsibility ends with acquiring proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Also telling their employees that they have to wear it. Sadly, in order to keep your workplace truly safe, you just can’t rely on the decision-making of your employees. Instead, you have to supervise your staff and make sure that they play by the rules. Sure, one instance of not wearing necessary equipment shouldn’t be enough for the termination of their contract but several such occasions are definitely a just cause. It’s a far better alternative to waiting for the accident to happen. Other than this, penalizing those who don’t play by the rules is also a great measure that gives some amazing results.

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  1. The holistic approach to health

The next thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that workplace safety isn’t just the issue of preventing your employees from getting injured by slipping and falling down. In fact, it’s about keeping your employees healthy and focused while in the workplace. This means providing them with a stress-free environment and not overworking them. Keep in mind that these factors aren’t just endangering their own wellbeing. It’s also making them into a liability and a threat to others. Also, by ignoring their mental health and endurance, you’re actively putting them in a scenario where they may develop a dangerous condition. All of this would take place due to your negligence.

  1. Reporting unsafe conditions

Even though this is quite logical, in a lot of workplaces. People are often reluctant to take into consideration the fact that workplace safety is also their personal responsibility. You see, while it is true that, on paper, it is the duty of the employer to mitigate any risk within the workplace. Upon noticing a potential hazard it is your ethical duty to report it. Failure to do so makes you directly responsible for an accident that takes place on the premises. Aside from this, you also need to keep in mind that reporting unsafe conditions needs to be incentivized in order to maximize the likelihood that people in your employ will follow through with it. Introducing a near-miss system is always a huge plus.

  1. Proper equipment

Perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle lies in providing your staff with proper equipment to work with. For instance, when running a warehouse, you need proper materials handling equipment like trolleys, forklifts, etc. In some industries, the importance of providing proper equipment is an even greater paramount. This is especially the case when it comes to the lab work, where proper laboratory equipment makes a major difference in both safety and end-result. The problem with this particular topic lies in the fact that these specific lab-tools have no alternative replacement and no DIY solution will give the same or a similar result. With that in mind, getting your hands on the proper equipment needs to become a priority.

  1. Don’t push your team too hard

One of the ways in which entrepreneurs contribute to the rate of workplace accidents the most is by pushing their team too hard. This makes them want to cut corners, skip breaks (which are vital for restoring their ability to focus). Also, this makes them botch the standard procedure for doing the task at hand. This doesn’t even hurt your profit. Fewer accidents, higher morale, lower absenteeism and several other perks are there to make up for a lower number of units produced. Moreover, the quality of the work done might increase, as well.

  1. Have an emergency protocol

The worst thing about preparing for an emergency is the fact that you just can’t rely on the belief that you’ll be able to figure things out under pressure. Instead, you need a simple protocol that everyone can remember. You also need to drill your team on it, regardless of how long it takes. Finally, you need to have the escape route printed out and placed everywhere across the place. This way, you’ll maximize the chances that your staff actually follows through with it. Keep in mind that some of these emergencies aren’t up to you, which is why there’s no way for you to avert them.

  1. Follow ergonomic standards

The most important thing about workplace safety is the fact that there are a lot of rules to follow. But you don’t really have to figure them out on your own. The fact, there are numerous case studies that have already determined the safe distances between objects. Adequate workplace layout, proper work surface heights and a number of related issues. Other words, all that you have to do is abide by these given ergonomic standards. You’ll have everything you need in order to keep your workplace safety trends in order.

In conclusion

The very last thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that even with all your effort. It’s impossible to create a 100 per cent safe workplace. Employee negligence, unforeseen occurrences and outside factors are something that you can never rule out. Moreover, new information about hazardous substances and long-term effects of practices that are now considered safe are coming out every year. For this very reason, the topic of workplace safety trends needs to be revisited every year.