4 tips for bosses to make sure employees can work safely

health & safety

One of your employees getting involved in a big workplace accident is probably one of the worst nightmares for a business owner.

Maybe your employee is badly hurt and can’t work for a while, maybe the news gets out and hurts your reputation, maybe your employee makes a claim against you … All the scenarios you don’t want! These are 4 tips for you as a boss, to reduce the chance of your employees getting involved in an accident. Time to put safety first!

Let your employees take a safety course

No matter the sector you’re in, it’s always a good idea for your employees to know about the dangers their job has and which laws and regulations are mandatory. In some areas of work, you can give a course to starter employees yourself, in other areas of work it’s better to let your employees take a professional course.

These courses can have a profound influence on the safety in your company. Did you know that a study from the Netherlands about manual workers’ incidents, showed that new and young employees were more prone to having accidents?

That’s why in the Netherlands, workers need to show a VCA certificate (similar to a NEBOSH course) to be able to work in certain industries. Luckily here in the UK, there are also tons of good courses to take. For instance, you can make your employees take the Working Safely course by IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health), a one-day course that covers all the essentials of health and safety in the workplace.

Add triggers so the safety rules aren’t forgotten

Taking a course is only step one. If you learn something and then never look at it again, chances are you’ll forget what you learned. The same goes with instructions to work safely or difficult legislations. That’s why it’s important as a boss to add triggers, so your employees don’t forget to put safety first.

We recommend visual triggers, like a big poster with facts about safety next to the coffee machine or a big paper listing the safety regulations next to a dangerous tool. You can also add videos about safety to the monthly email or give reminders during the weekly meetings.

Listen to employees’ concerns

You may think that your workplace is a super safe space, but your employees can disagree. That’s why it’s important to always listen to your employees’ concerns. They’ll be the first to know if a machine needs replacing or if a colleague is losing his or her focus, e.g. because of personal problems. Make sure you’re approachable as a boss, so everyone knows they can reach you to address issues.

Make sure employees aren’t overworked

There are many reasons why accidents can happen. There are, however, a few reasons you can influence like a boss. It is known that fatigue and rushed work are some of the biggest reasons work accidents happen. It’s important to always give your employees the correct amount of time for an activity, so they don’t cut corners while rushing. Furthermore, keep an eye on the number of hours your employees work. Overworked, tired employees are more prone to accidents.