Ensuring a safe workplace should be the goal of every business. Performing regular inspections of both the workplace environment and the business’ equipment is crucial in creating a workplace that is a safe place for employees.
So how do you go about performing a worksite analysis that will address all of the potential danger areas of which you should be aware? Here’s a five-point plan courtesy of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration that will get you started in the right direction:
1. Request consultation
It’s never a bad idea to get input from the experts. OSHA offers a Consultation Program that provides comprehensive coverage of all of the dangers that might lurk at your business. Small business owners might also consider hiring an expert private consultant, too.
2. Employee reviews
From time to time, review with each employee their jobs. Break their duties down step by step to see what invisible hazards might exist in their normal day to day.
In addition to consulting with outside sources, take time to self-inspect. Some things to keep in mind during these self-inspections include:
- Ensuring fire safety standards are being met (i.e., fire alarm system is tested annually, there are enough fire extinguishers and they are readily available, etc.)
- Are employees wearing safety equipment, such as goggles or shields, where appropriate?
- Aisles and walkways are clear of obstructions
- Floor openings are protected on all sides by covers, guard rails, etc.
- Worn equipment and tools are being replaced as needed
Look through the past several years’ worth of injury reports. Do you see a pattern emerging? That might indicate red flags that need to be addressed.
It’s one thing to set up formal workplace safety procedures. It’s another to follow through and ensure they are being carried out effectively. Small businesses must ensure all employees are aware of the business’ workplace safety policy and the ramifications of not adhering to it. It’s also important that your staff feels comfortable telling management when they see something that violates the company’s safety protocol.
Of course, the tips listed above just represent a starting point when it comes to workplace safety. For a more detailed look at what you can do to make sure your business is as safe as possible, check out OSHA’s Small Business Handbook, located here.