Safety isn’t always top-of-mind for small business owners, yet they sometimes discover the hard way that it doesn’t take many injuries to put a company in real financial peril. Safety pro Phil LaDuke recently shared an article on entrepreneur.com with seven approaches any business owner can adopt to reduce the risk of worker injuries without breaking the bank. Here's a recap:
1. Hire smarter. Carefully screen candidates to ensure that they have the skills and experience it takes to be successful and work safely.
2. Train your staff. Share techniques that can make tasks safer. Counting on common sense to keep workers safe is a recipe for disaster.
3. Demand safe work practices. Accept the fact that there's always time to do things safely, and don't accept unsafe work. If you choose productivity over safety, then you send the wrong message to workers.
4. Provide the right tools and equipment. Many workers will risk using the wrong tool or taking a short cut to get a job done quickly. Be sure they have the right safety equipment.
5. Demonstrate that you value worker safety. Consider recognizing staffers who offer suggestions for working safely. Be careful to not provide incentives for achieving zero injuries - which essentially rewards zero reporting.
6. Look for ways to improve safety. Spend some time with workers brainstorming for their safety ideas. Solicit their concerns about safety at work and act on their suggestions.
7. Remember there are a lot of right answers. No job is absolutely without risk and therefore completely safe. But there are ways to approach any job to make it safer.
A strong demand for safe work practices by senior leadership can mean the difference between success and failure.