Workplace safety may be a more serious issue than you think. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2016.
Aside from fearing compliance issues and keeping your workforce healthy and safe, there’s another reason to focus on workplace security. When your employees don’t feel safe at work, it’s harder for them to be productive and focus on the task at hand. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to cost much to create a stronger sense of safety at work. Here are five inexpensive ways to get started.
Business property security is a focus for many companies. But it’s not enough just to rely on your office building’s security systems to prevent a break-in. People entering the building and posing as vendors or clients can always slip into your own office space relatively undetected. Affordable security systems and cameras are a way to help your employees feel safe and secure. If there is ever an altercation at work, having video proof to resolve it can mean the difference between an escalating argument over who was wrong and a calm meditation.
Is your company prepared for a physical altercation between employees or an intruder? According to Career Builder, 30 percent of employees don’t feel their workplace is safe from a physical altercation with another person. That figure also includes employees feeling unsafe about hacking threats. But the study found these concerns were not simply about workplace safety, but how well prepared their company is. The study found 40 percent of workers have no idea if their employer has an emergency plan in place to deal with these issues.
It’s wise to sit down with your legal and HR department. Go through the process with your team a few times a year, and give them access to visit the documented plan if they ever have questions. Simply understanding that your company is prepared may give them the peace of mind and sense of security they’re looking for.
Protecting against physical altercations and hacks isn’t the only emergency that could pop up at work. According to reporting from CNBC, 40 percent of small businesses never recover or reopen after a disaster. Although businesses in hurricane- and tornado-prone areas may have natural disasters on their mind, fires and flooding can also hit businesses in every state and cause catastrophic damage.
Come up with a plan on how to deal with an emergency and what it means for your business. Discuss situations like working remotely, regularly backing up data to the cloud, and a temporary office space. The more your team can work together and plan for the next emergency, the more likely you are to come out ahead and keep your business open.
Your employees need the right resources and tools to do their jobs well. Not only can it help their productivity, but it can also keep your employees safer. It may be a no-brainer to make sure your safety gear and tools are regularly checked for wear and tear, but your devices should also be regularly updated.
Outdated computers, smartphones and tablets could open the door to hackers to infiltrate your employee’s systems and compromise their digital safety.
Simply taking more breaks can keep your team feeling alert and fresh, and avoid hurting themselves on the job. Even industries that don’t require manual labor can use ongoing breaks to prevent issues like carpal tunnel syndrome and back fatigue. If you’re worried about losing productivity during breaks, the opposite proves true. A study published in Science Daily shows that taking a brief break can help us get back on track and actually increase our productivity while reducing errors. And best of all, taking breaks are free.
Focusing on their safety and creating a culture of security can go a long way to put employees’ minds at ease and increase their performance. Start your next work meeting by outlining steps your company is taking to make them feel safer and solicit their input for an engaging discussion with security in mind.