Work safety is of the biggest concerns in today’s business. Lawsuits have forced even the most stubborn of employers to take greater care of the level of safety measure at the workplace. Of course, a good manager or an entrepreneur knows that workplace safety has little to do with sticking to the legislature but it is an excellent method of boosting productivity. Nobody wants to give their best in an environment they feel unsafe in, so it would be elusive to expect your company to grow in such perilous conditions. A safe working space is, therefore, a precondition for any business, as workers first and foremost have to feel safe going to work every day. Modern capitalism is based on the principle of worker happiness and safety lies at the core of generating joy in the workplace.
The theory is one thing but you are probably wondering how can a safe working environment be achieved in practice? Well, there are several steps that the employers must take even before the business is up and running. Some of them are related solely to safety and they might not please the employees but they will keep them safe, while others are primarily aimed at satisfying all the workers’ needs and desires. Balance is crucial in this case.
The chair and the desk
It might seem trivial but there exists a correlation between office furniture and worker satisfaction. An average worker appreciates having a comfortable working station that is mostly comprised of a chair and a desk. The latter has to be made from solid wood for stability reasons and its height should fit each worker as best as possible. Enough leg room is something everyone would appreciate, so custom making each desk is not a bad idea.
Secondly, the chair should have ergonomic features because people spend a lot of time sitting in it, especially in jobs that require using the computer. That is why a typical work chair should have an armrest so as to decrease the pressure exerted on the shoulders. Like with the desk, the chair should have adjustable height so the feet would lie flat on the floor when sitting straight. Its seating should neither be too hard nor too soft but it should provide perfect lumbar support together with the back support feature. Finally, swivel chairs are the standard today, as they increase mobility around the desk area.
Taking frequent breaks
There is hardly any employee that hasn’t come under fire because he or she is taking too frequent breaks. Don’t forget that there are breaks and then there are “breaks.” In order for the break to be effective, the person has to leave the workspace both physically and mentally. Even a smoke outside on the balcony counts as a break even if it lasts as little as five minutes. The thing is the human brain cannot focus indefinitely and after an hour or so it has to make a break, at least for a couple of minutes. Encourage such intermezzos in your workers’ schedule as they account as real breaks that actually increase productivity and add to worker safety as workers can concentrate better at tasks beforehand. This is especially important when it comes to activities such as driving or operating heavy machinery where a moment of inattention could spell disaster.
Preventing falls and slips
Speaking of heavy machinery, there are numerous occupations that involve spending time in areas that can be quite dangerous at times, such as the construction site. Not only can heavy objects hit the worker from above but they can fall from height as well. Another common danger that is often overlooked are slips that have been known to injury many workers. Frequent spills of oil, grease or even water could send a person flying in the air! That is why investing in anti-slip mats like the ones produced by Mat Shop is a smart move to make. There are even anti-fatigue mats that are ideal for posts that include a lot of standing, so even a fast-food worker would be grateful to his or her employer if they placed one in front of the grill. Such mats don’t have to have a dull design, as they can be customized to meet the ergonomic and aesthetic demands of every worker.
A stress-free environment
Stress is a well-known factor that impacts work safety in a negative way. As we have mentioned earlier, fatigue increases the risk of injury and fuels the feeling of being tired. This is because low morale prevents the workers from being focused and this is when most mistakes happen. That is why stress should not be left to the employees to deal with individually, but there should be a master plan for managing stress. The company needs to invest in recreation rooms that are equipped with stuff such as video games, an entertainment system, magazines, and free drinks. These all account for better rest and the ability to shake off any work-related stress. If you run a small-scale business, even throwing in a couple of lazy bags will make your workers smile.
A room with dimmed lights is suitable for romance but definitely unfit for office space. One thing that your office definitely needs is plenty of natural light! If you have the possibility to choose what kind of office space you purchase or rent, then always opt for higher floors that receive a lot of light during the day. This does not mean that the sun rays should shine directly on the employees’ desks, as you should install some kind of shades to help you get through those blistering hot summer months.
At night time, the light should be adequate as well, so make sure each worker has a lamp just for his or her desk. The entire office should be light enough for anyone to read a text without straining their eyesight. You can install special light bulbs that imitate the effect natural light has.
When it comes to creating a safe workplace, your first item of business, pun intended, should be prioritizing workplace safety. Once it becomes as important as profit, it is easy to apply the 5 essential steps listed here