The workplace is basically like a second home, therefore feeling secure and well looked after at these times is important. As an employer, you have a duty to your staff to ensure their safety when working. While some things lie in the hands of the individual, the majority lies with you.

To help you understand what is required, we’ve come up with some essential steps that you should take to make sure your employees are kept safe.

Set up regular training sessions

A workforce without adequate safety training can be compared to an army without defence. In order to improve safety levels, all employees should undergo extensive training that highlights the company’s safety protocols.

Important areas for training include emergency drills, how to use heavy machinery, fire safety and first aid. That way, if an incident was to take place, staff would be well prepared to handle all scenarios calmly and safely.

Employees should have access to any training materials and safety tools should be located in multiple easy-to-find locations. The training must be given to new employees or when current workers are given new roles. Checking knowledge of the safety protocols on a regular and random basis ensures accidents are minimised.

Make employees aware of risks

Using signage is a great way of highlighting potential risks to employees. You don’t want to end up guilty if an avoidable accident was to occur. If you didn’t carry out the correct measures, there may be grounds for reimbursement or further legal action.

Firstly, you’ll want to identify all of the potential hazards in the working environment and what types of risks they pose. Once you have the relevant signage, designate someone to place them in all areas so that they are clearly visible.

The most effective signs will have instructional features on how to keep safe but these should be clear enough so that they can be understood by all workers. Remember even the most experienced staff members need reminding sometimes.

Improve situational awareness

Situational awareness is a critical element of safety in the workplace, referring to one’s ability to be conscious of their environment in relation to other employees. By being more aware of your surroundings, you can react to any hazard both quickly and efficiently.

One way you can facilitate awareness in your employees is through communication. Getting them to shout commands if they are carrying heavy machinery or moving stations can prevent others from getting in the way and causing an accident.

You could use the SLAM method, which stands for stop, look, assess and manage. It first asks the individual whether they are comfortable completing a task. Then, it gets them to observe the workstation and pick out potential safety risks. Finally, they need to come up with ways to manage these risks, which should minimise the hazards while completing the task. Get the employee to then think of ways they prepare better for the task in the future, including what they thought went well.