Ring in the new year with a safer, healthier, and more effective business by taking on these resolutions in 2013:
1. Develop an emergency preparedness program. Establish guidelines for medical, severe weather, and fire emergencies. Practice these procedures with all employees, reinforce them at all levels of the company, and post reminders in high traffic areas. Make sure you have an adequate supply of first aid equipment on hand, and have designated employees trained in CPR and standard first aid.
2. Create a return-to-work program. Develop a plan to help injured workers get back to work sooner after an incident. See how to get started.
3. Identify hazards and take steps to remove them. Workplace hazards could include electrical cords on the ground, defective equipment, tired drivers, heat stress, and more. If possible, eliminate the hazard. If not, create warnings (for example, back-up alarms, labels on chemicals). Train your employees on procedures for safely handling the hazards. Provide the appropriate protective equipment, like glasses, boots, reflective vests, earplugs, etc., and make sure employees use it.
4. Offer ergonomics training. Back injuries and cumulative trauma disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome can be costly for your employees and your company. Create a committee or provide employee training about adjusting workstations and computers to reduce wrist and back tension, and safely handling and lifting materials.
5. Update your insurance policy. Did you make any significant changes to your business operations in the past year, such as expanding your office or adding new drivers? Contact your insurance agent to make sure all aspects of your business are protected.