By Anica Oaks

Safety in the workplace is a serious concern. Accidents and injuries cost companies millions each year in terms of lost productivity and increasing insurance premiums, not to mention potential legal concerns. Common sense safety measures only go so far. Having policies in place to create a safe environment for workers is paramount to reducing the danger involved in any job.

Continuing Safety Education and Training

Training employees on a regular basis can help them learn safety protocols, which will increase the likelihood of them following safety procedures and knowing and using this knowledge in everyday or emergency situations. Creating a policy that sets a minimum number of hours for safety and emergency education can help ensure that employees attend and take advantage of educational opportunities. To provide this training, specialized companies can bring advanced first aid and safety training to the workplace, in addition to other important emergency services.

Policy Updates

An important factor in a safe workplace are policies that are updated to comply with industry standards, best practices, and any changes in applicable laws. This should happen on at least an annual basis. For industries with frequent changes, having a committee that meets quarterly can be effective in terms of noting and making changes to internal policies and then disseminating new documents to employees. New workers should always receive a copy of the most up-to-date materials. Also, if your company does inherently dangerous work and operates in a remote location, consider adding extra services, such as the emergency ambulance services of 911 Industrial Response Inc.

Safety Drills

Practice makes perfect. Having procedures in place can be potentially meaningless without testing and refining them. Periodic drills are one way of doing this. Depending on the industry, arranging practice of safety procedure can be difficult and time-consuming; however, employers can alleviate some of the burden by planning well in advance and possibly holding drills during off-peak seasons. In many locations, local authorities may be willing to participate as well to give their staff a chance at closer to real-world training conditions. FEMA also offers resources to help with emergency planning and drills.

Frequent Inspection of Safety Equipment

All equipment should receive regular inspections. This is doubly important for safety equipment and emergency supplies, including fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and industry-specialized equipment that is safety-related. Generally, companies have policies in place to ensure inspections are scheduled, but follow-up is important too in order to be certain that inspections are conducted and equipment maintained.

Safety is significantly important in the workplace. These four policy recommendations can do a lot for improving job safety and communicating important information to employees regarding safety procedures and inspections.

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. Follow Anica on Google +.