It’s no secret that slip-and-fall accidents are a leading cause of employee absence and decreased productivity in the workplace or that these mishaps are also responsible for an overwhelming percentage of annual worker’s compensation claims. Data and statistics supporting these statements are widely available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA, and other organizations, and the incident files in your own HR department probably tell a similar tale.
With all that you know about the dangers of slick surfaces in the workplace, it’s time to get serious about enforcing employee compliance with safety rules. Here are some effective tips for making workplace safety a priority in the New Year:
- Do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety program has the full support of management. If top-level employees continually look the other way and fail to enforce the rules, then unsafe behaviors are not likely to change.
- Rewrite the company’s safety manuals or employee handbooks to make important safety protocols, such as wearing ice cleats in winter, mandatory. Simply saying that safety gear is “recommended” is not enough to guarantee compliance.
- Place high visibility warning signs in areas that are particularly susceptible to slip-and-fall accidents, including icy sidewalks, slick loading docks, slippery steps, and narrow walkways.
- Encourage employees to treat hazards themselves by making rock salt, sand, sawdust, floor mats, and other remedies readily accessible near known trouble spots.
- Consider assembling and training a “safety team” made up of interested employees. These safety team members can help with monitoring workspaces in real time and can offer reminders or tips when they see breaches of safety protocols.
Workplace safety should be a priority in every organization, particularly those that have already experienced the loss of work days, productivity, and employee morale due to preventable slip-and-fall accidents. Make this year different by implementing the above tips to promote compliance with all safety rules.