This is a collaborative post
It’s the duty of an employer to provide a safe working environment by following the necessary health and safety regulations. Following the correct procedures is the easiest way to ensure your workplace doesn’t pose any unnecessary risks for employees, but cutting corners is still common practice. While taking shortcuts is often done to save time, they can threaten the welfare of your team members and the reputation of your business.
By trying to complete tasks quickly and neglecting the required health and safety regulations, employees are more likely to suffer accidents that could have been avoided. While these injuries may only be minor, they could still result in absenteeism if recovery time is needed.
In a more severe situation, an acute injury could lead to long-term health problems and require treatment, which isn’t going to help the credibility of your business or reputation as an employer. We’re all guilty of trying to cut corners where we can if it means a job can be done faster. But taking workplace safety shortcuts like the examples below isn’t the answer, and professional advice should be sought if you’re unsure of the correct actions to take.
Health and safety regulations are often associated with physically demanding jobs and are commonly overlooked in office environments. However, regardless of the setting, the well-being of employees is the manager’s responsibility, which means making sure employees take regular breaks.
We’re guilty of working through lunch or eating at our desks because we feel too busy to leave the office or step away from our screens, but it’s not a healthy way to spend the working day. As well as giving our eyes and heads a much-needed rest, having a proper break gives us a better chance of working effectively.
Moving away from our desks also keeps our circulation moving and reduces damage from our screens’ glare while ensuring we eat a proper lunch will keep our blood sugar in check and avoid the mid-afternoon energy slump. It’s also important to remember that breaks are something we’re legally entitled to and that having time away from work will boost productivity and employee well-being, which is in the business’s best interest.
Ruling out minor accidents
Accidents happen from time to time and are part of everyday life. But problems can arise when minor injuries at work are dismissed and brushed under the carpet because they’re perceived as insignificant. Filling out the correct paperwork is sometimes considered time-consuming, particularly if the accident in question didn’t disrupt work or result in a severe injury. But following health and safety regulations means reporting accidents correctly, completing the necessary administration and investigating why they occurred.
If these minor incidents are ignored and not looked into properly, they could happen again on a larger scale. No one likes filling out paperwork unless they have to, but employers are responsible for keeping their team members safe, including taking ‘near misses’ seriously.
Unclear emergency exits
Workplaces need a plan for emergencies, including having exits marked clearly with an easy-to-read sign that lights up when it’s dark. But is this enough? While smaller properties and offices may only require the correct signage to locate an emergency exit, larger workplaces might benefit from extra safety measures such as installing reflective tape on the floors.
While this precaution is optional and therefore not strictly a shortcut, neglecting to evaluate your workplace and make it as safe as possible for employees could put them at risk. If your premises are spacious and contain machinery, exits may be more challenging for team members and visitors to find in an emergency.
By assessing your workspace and acting accordingly, you are not only making the welfare of your employees a priority but also eliminating any shortcuts that don’t benefit your business’ health, safety and reputation.
Where to get clear signage
After reading all of this, you may be thinking about what work needs to be taken on to ensure your own business is not cutting corners. Whilst we have been clear on where the experts lie in health and safety, getting the right signage is probably the hardest part.
To ensure your signs are visible, you can consult a printing company or graphic design agency, they may even work together on a project to ensure that your company will pass all the regulations and assessments.
It is never too late to change your procedures at the place of work. Your employees should feel safe coming to work.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post