There are a million and one things to consider when launching or about to start a new business: staffing, products, budget, salary, vacations, clients, and so much more. But, one thing that all businesses have in common is that you, as a business owner, are responsible for ensuring that your premises, your employees, and your customers are all safe. When it comes to safety, there are so many different areas to cover that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or scared about missing something. Not to fear, we’ve put together a simple guide to workplace safety for any new business. Take a look.
Clamp down on cyber security
We’ve all heard too many stories about cyber theft and ransomware, and the sad reality is that they’re still out there, and no one is safe since you never know when they’ll come after you. Hackers nowadays have tactics that allow them to access files without being detected unless you have a trained eye, which is a worrying concept, especially if you’re keeping important company information. Fortunately, there are tools that you can download and install on your computer to protect you from many types of computer intrusions. While free versions of these services are excellent, they usually only cover the most common trojans. Invest in comprehensive cyber security for the sake of your company so that it remains safe and you have one less thing to worry about.
Provide training for your staff
Your team will need training on a multitude of things to ensure they’re safe in the workplace. From extensive training on dangerous machinery to how to stay safe online, you’ll need to make a list of everything your team needs to complete – and stay on top of it too. Then there’s the matter of personal safety. Have you thought about a scenario where someone gravely injures themself or becomes unwell to the point of not breathing? What would you do? Would anyone know what to do to save that person’s life? It’s a good idea to encourage your staff to get a CPR certification online so that if the worst happens, your team has the knowledge to spring into action. You may also consider taking this too as it’s useful in all walks of life.
Whether you and your employees are using computers or operating large, dangerous machinery, there is always the possibility that the equipment will fail and become dangerous. Most injuries caused by machinery and equipment are caused by a lack of sufficient training, therefore make sure that all of your employees are properly trained on how to use all sorts of machinery and equipment in your business. This not only protects people from harming themselves, but it also protects you if a lawsuit arises as a result of their training. You should also make sure that your equipment maintenance management is up to date so that you can rest assured that your machinery and equipment are in good operating order. Machinery is typically serviced once a year, but if you notice any changes, have them repaired immediately to avoid any injury.
Whether or not you’ve worked in the catering sector, you’ve almost certainly come across food safety information. The essentials, whether taught in school or by parents, are to keep your kitchen and everything in it clean at all times. If you’re running a business that will be serving food, make sure you and your employees are aware of the requirements that apply to safely storing food. This will cover the temperatures at which your food should be stored, as well as ensuring that it is kept free from any substances that could make someone sick. Read up on food safety thoroughly so that you have all of the facts and can avoid any harm.
Hazards in the workplace
Every workplace has its own set of risks. There are risks waiting around every corner, whether it’s a trailing wire that no one has thought to take out of the path or someone running with scissors. Making a handbook that you and your employees have constant access to as a reminder of safety standards that must be followed is a wonderful solution to tackle this issue. When you hire new employees, give them a copy to read and sign so they can learn all of the safety standards and so you’re protected in the event of a lawsuit. While the safety of human lives is vital, you should always consider the possibility of your business being compromised and defend it as well.
Safeguarding your team
When dealing with the general public, you’re always at risk of being attacked by an irate customer. It’s a tragic fact that 425,000 employees were verbally or physically abused by customers in 2017. Make sure you have a procedure in place to protect your employees from abuse if and when the situation occurs. Signs saying that no form of abuse would be tolerated are always a good idea to post throughout your premises. Protect your employees from injury in any way so that they can continue to do their jobs effectively.
Install silent alarms
Working in a hostile environment is something that no one should have to deal with. Employees in some roles, on the other hand, may feel threatened by a member of the public. Patients in doctor’s offices, for example, will occasionally express their dissatisfaction to the receptionist. If they don’t get what they want, they can become aggressive, and you must safeguard your employees from this type of situation, whether physically or verbally. Installing silent alarms under desks will discreetly alert the rest of the team to a problem, allowing it to be rectified without harming anyone.
Install security cameras
Someone attempting to break into your business and steal merchandise or money will always be a threat to you as a business owner. Unfortunately, you never know when someone might try to break in, so it’s a good idea to invest in security cameras and alarms so that if someone does try to rob you, you and the police will be notified as soon as the alarms go off. Security cameras might also help in catching the perpetrator. They’re also useful for making sure that everyone in your building is safe at all times.
Hire security guards
If you manage a high-risk business, such as a nightclub, you should think about hiring security guards to keep an eye on the doors and ensure that everyone is safe. Perhaps you sell high-value things and are concerned about theft or violence. Hiring security guards to keep everyone secure would not only provide you peace of mind, but it will also significantly dissuade potential robbers or attackers.
Protect personal information
Finally, we addressed cyber security before, but if you’re not careful with what you enter online, it might lead to identity theft. After you’ve set up your cyber security, you should start thinking about how you’ll protect whatever information you have on your employees. It’s possible that you have bank account information, addresses, and perhaps phone numbers recorded somewhere. Keep all of your information in a secure location, such as a physical safe or a portable hard drive that you can carry with you at all times. If you’re in the medical industry you’ll have access to your patient’s personal information. Using secure programs and plenty of security measures will help keep their information safe too. You should learn more about how to avoid identity theft and take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.
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