Unsurprisingly, no one relishes reporting to an unsafe workplace each day. In addition to the typical stressors synonymous with the modern work experience, a workplace with physical safety issues, abusive employees or indifferent management can take one’s stress to the next level. As such, it behooves every business owner to create a workplace in which all team members feel at ease, and the first step in doing so is brushing up on some of the most common reasons for which workplaces become unsafe.
Failure to Consult Seasoned Experts
If you’re relatively new to running a business, you may not be up-to-speed on the tenets of a safe workplace. So, if your knowledge on workplace safety is lacking, take care to get in touch with seasoned experts. Workplace safety aficionados and motivational speakers can provide you and your team with a bevy of invaluable tips and tools for fostering a safety-conscious work environment. Additionally, if your business is largely focused on technology, seek out some of the leading women in tech when looking for the right speakers.
Abuse and Harassment
Even with all the attention given to abuse and harassment in the workplace in recent years, these problems remain as prevalent as ever. In your efforts to prevent them, consider speaking at length to your entire team on both subjects. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding what constitutes abuse and harassment, the negative impact these issues have on workplaces and the consequences for engaging in such behavior.
Victims of abuse and harassment should also be encouraged to come forward. In many workplaces, victims are hesitant to make formal accusations for fear of retaliation – especially if the person being accused is someone in a position of power or a team member who’s widely liked by their peers. For this reason, you should make it clear that all accusations will be treated with due seriousness and properly investigated – and that anyone found engaged in retaliation will face consequences. Furthermore, instead of allowing perpetrators to skate by with light punishments, impose strict consequences on team members that have abused or harassed other workers, as this will effectively disincentivize other bad actors.
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While there’s no surefire way to avoid hiring potentially problematic individuals, a good screening process can dramatically reduce your odds of welcoming the wrong people into your workforce. So, the more effort you put into screening prospective hires, the less likely you are to hire individuals who are unqualified, dangerous or generally unsavory. For best results, your screening process should entail doing a deep dive into an applicant’s employment history, education and criminal background. (After obtaining the applicant’s permission, of course.)
If you lack the bandwidth to devote proper attention to the screening process, consider outsourcing this task to a highly-rated screening service. This will help ensure that all applicants are meticulously screened and that you have more time to devote to other aspects of business management.
Necessary Repairs and Renovations Are Placed on the Backburner
There’s no benefit to ignoring essential repairs and/or renovations that need to be made to your workplace. For one thing, the longer important repairs/renovations remain unaddressed, the worse these problems are likely to become – and the more expensive they’ll be to address when you ultimately get around to them. Furthermore, unaddressed repairs/renovations can present potential safety hazards to you and your employees. And if an employee becomes injured as a result of your refusal to tackle essential work, you may very well find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
With this in mind, make a point of having your workplace thoroughly inspected by a certified professional multiple times per year. This will help ensure that small problems are caught before they’re able to become much larger – and much costlier – issues. Regular inspections can also prove helpful to your efforts to keep your workplace up to code and free of assorted safety violations.
It’s no secret that the modern work experience is tremendously stressful. In fact, it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that many people would rate their jobs as the most stressful things in their lives. Rather than add to that stress, it’s in the best interest of employers to alleviate it – and fostering a safe, low-stress work environment is a great place to start. So, if a safe workplace is what you’re striving for, take care to heed the advice outlined above.
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