Workplace emergencies and accidents can happen anywhere. This should concern business owners because such incidents can result in increased insurance premium costs. Accidents in the workplace can also decrease your revenue, with the increased potential for liabilities that can really affect your business' cash flow.
It's important to implement emergency procedures for the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalizes businesses that do not observe federal workplace safety rules. Financial penalties for non compliance range from $5,000 to $70,000. Even if you are a small business with only one employee, you must adhere to federal OSHA requirements. The safety standards you must follow vary, however, depending on your industry.
In order to reduce the incidence of emergencies in the workplace you should:
1. Develop a sound safety plan to prevent and properly cope with accidents in the workplace.
2. Provide your employees with the tools necessary to provide first aid for workplace emergencies and accidents.
3. Purchase the necessary products to handle a chemical spill or other hazardous material accident.
Create a formal safety policy to help reduce emergencies in the workplaceHaving a safety policy in place for your business creates a foundation for the safety program you establish. Making sure that each employee understands what you expect of him dramatically reduces the incidence of workplace accidents. Even if you choose to discuss your workplace safety policy with all of your employees at one time, a written safety policy is something your workers can always refer to for clarification.
Equip your employees with the ability to respond to minor workplace accidentsRelatively minor injuries, like minor burns and cuts, can occur in virtually any workplace. Although most employers require employees to see a doctor in the event of an accident, you must, according to OSHA, provide easily accessible first aid supplies for your workers.
Prepare for workplace emergency and accidents caused by hazardous materialsHazardous materials, including chemicals, volatile cleaning compounds and combustible substances, can cause serious injury to your employees and your business property. While a sound safety plan can prevent unnecessary chemical spills and other accidental releases of hazardous materials, you must have the proper equipment to properly handle such workplace accidents.
- As part of your workplace emergency response plan, make sure your employees know to notify a manager immediately following an on the job injury or illness, and that employees explicitly follow safety procedures outlined in the company's safety policy.