Burlington, Ontario’s Kevin Gray & 5 Steps to Making the Workplace a Safer Environment
Every employer has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that their employees can work as safely as possible. Kevin Gray, a facilities management expert and consultant from Burlington, Ontario, notes that one of the best ways to lower costs and increase positivity in the workplace is to constantly take steps to make the work environment a safer place for employees to spend their day. Here are five simple steps to minimizing accidents in the workplace, courtesy of Kevin Gray.
1. Inform Employees
All employees are entitled to safety training according to standards set in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Additionally, increasing employees’ awareness for all potential hazards will help them be more mindful as they go about their work. Kevin Gray states that while the burden falls on the employer to ensure safety, it is also the employees’ responsibility to report any potential hazard. Safety is a two-way street.
2. Require Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Equipment that protects the ears, eyes, skin, and lungs from workplace hazards should not be optional. Kevin Gray notes that smart employers make PPE a non-negotiable part of an employee’s work uniform. Even though employees may complain about cumbersome equipment, they will adjust in time, and the PPE may save their lives someday.
3. Plan Fire Evacuation Safety
Every workplace should have fire alarms and plenty of exits out of the building. Waiting for a fire scare to take place is far too late to begin building a fire safety plan, and neglect of this magnitude often results in wrongful death in the workplace. Designate emergency exits, evacuation routes, and practice fire drills to assist employees in a proper emergency response.
An equally important piece to a fire safety plan includes fire prevention. Employers should teach their employees which chemicals are combustible. Additionally, HVAC systems should be inspected regularly for any fire safety concerns. Electrical sockets should be properly covered, and all chemicals properly stowed.
4. Accident Proof the Workplace
Posting hazard warning signs and addressing parts of the property that may be in disrepair are common sense ways to protect employees from accidents in the workplace. Additionally, teaching employees to report hazards and discuss safer solutions to potential hazards are great ways to accident proof the building.
5. Solicit Feedback
Whether finding the courage to report harassment or refusing to do work that is unsafe, employees must be made to feel that they can speak up about dangers in the workplace. The alternative is that accidents go unreported but still create harm for employees, as well as risking legal consequences for the business failing to be compliant to OHS safety standards.
The Occupational Health and Safety branch of Canada government requires all employers to create a Health and Safety Committee that can receive reports about unsafe work conditions and rectify those issues internally. Employees that do not feel heard by their employer or Health and Safety Committee are encouraged to contact an OHS inspector immediately.
Kevin Gray’s Final Thoughts
Implementing these five strategies will work towards drastically increasing your employee safety. Kevin Gray explains that when employers take these steps seriously, their employees notice and are appreciative. Taking these steps are necessary and your employees deserve safety in the workplace.
Kevin Gray is a facilities management expert with over 15 years’ experience in workplace regulations, human resources, facilities maintenance, project teams, and more. Based in Ontario, he currently assists employers in all matters pertaining to facilities management. For more information, visit his website.