Workplace policies are part of the foundation of most companies, so commonplace your HR department usually builds off of a basic template to ensure employ safety. However, it’s worth spending more time carefully drafting these policies – and ensuring that they’re followed through. Hire a lawyer who specializes in workplace injuries to look over your existing policies and give you advice on how to change them to better prevent workplace injuries.
One of the common causes of workplace injuries is inappropriate attire. Long, loose clothing, for example, can more easily get caught in machinery. Shoes without heavy duty protection may lead to injuries after something heavy falls on workers’ feet. High heels could lead employees to trip. Hard hats and eyewear are a must in certain work environments. Go over the clothing policies for workers in your industry and make adjustments according to the individual situation at your place of business. You might only require heavy duty workwear on the factory floor, for instance, and not in the offices – but make sure no one wearing inappropriate attire for the factory runs out to the work floor to deliver a message or run an errand without proper protection.
Emergency Off-Switch Instructions
Every employee, even those who don’t typically work with machinery, should know what to do in the event of an emergency like the machine catching on fire or going out of control. Make emergency off-switches very easy to find. Paint the area around the boxes in a different way and make sure they’re a short but safe distance from the machinery itself.
Requiring No Distractions
When machines are operational, everyone in the area needs to be paying close attention. Clarify your policies on limiting distractions near dangerous machinery. Require phones and music players to be kept in company lockers. Avoid having anyone walk through the machine area who isn’t at work. Ask that employees only engage with one another during breaks if the machinery is especially dangerous or if productivity seems to be an issue.
It’s better to put extra time and effort into developing workplace safety policies you can be proud of now than to deal with injury and a lawsuit after something occurs on the job that could have been prevented. Update your current policies and rethink how you make sure they’re followed through. If you have any questions, consult with an attorney.