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How will you ensure the safety of employees?

I want to know if a incident were to take place would you guys take measures to ensure that you are trying to protect you employee.

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Dawnyale’s Answer

Hello Tiana,

What an excellent question! I think ensuring employee safety starts with ensuring everyone understands that it's a shared effort. All employees must know and adhere to the safety measures that are already in place and keep an eye out for potential risks as they occur. For instance, if keeping the floors dry to prevent falls is a safety measure of a business, then employees must know the proper protocol when they see a spill on the floor.

But, it's also important to think about safety with an umbrella approach - physical, virtual, psychological and financial safety are all equally important in a work place. Provide avenues for employees to learn more about how your company contributes to each, the reasons behind the need for safety and how they they can make the environment even safer than it already is.

Also, I would say that it is important to prepare for mistakes. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to prevent mishaps, a few will inevitably occur. Don't fret about it, but make sure there are ways to minimize the damages. For example, you may have measures in place to prevent falls in the workplace, but if there's a leak in the building or someone spills coffee, you may still have an employee who ends up hurt. Get great insurance, ensure you have the coverage for employees being out of the business, and do what you can to get them back to 100%.

I hope this helps, good luck to you!
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Aaron’s Answer

There are regulations for this and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and MSHA (MSHA is industry specific). Additionally, lots of companies have awards and standards they try to qualify for to attract investors and all of these require investigation and continuous improvement actions in events of injury, etc.
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David’s Answer

There are safety trainings that are required annually, including harassments in workplace, active shooter, etc.

Any none immediate threat could be reported to HR.
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Marc’s Answer

Caution: I'm going to say the quiet part out loud

The short answer to your question, if someone isn't trying to prevent injuries they're not going to be around very long. I have seen some sites have less safety than others, but you'd be hard pressed to find a place that genuinely doesn't care and does nothing about injuries in the US. This may not be a genuine care for the employees, but it's a care rooted in keeping their business around.

If you're going to have a successful company preventing accidents is a priority. Accidents are expensive, this is unfortunately most of the reason why companies have safety stances, followed by regulation requirements and then lastly employee health. This is why most companies have tons of paperwork, SOPs and a room full of engineers trying to figure out how to stop them from happening. (That and Dead Peasant Insurance isn't as widely used, essentially a life insurance policy taken out on employees that the company is the benefactor of in case of an employees passing, I think Wal Mart was the popular one up until the late 90s)

Legally you have to track all your incidents in the workplace and OSHA has a rating based on injuries versus man hours. If it gets high enough or you have severe incidents they will investigate what you have done, and if you haven't done anything they will shut you down. I have seen entire production plants get shut down for a month by OSHA investigations. Business insurance gets expensive if you have too many incidents and constant medical payouts eat at the bottom line. Accidents will shut a company down.

I've had the unfortunate experience of having to call a spouse as their loved one is headed to the emergency room, I don't care who you are, that is a terrible conversation, changed my perspective. I vowed I would never have to do it again, if we had an accident we stopped all work until we knew the accident couldn't happen again. I have terminated people for safety, if I had to save them from themselves I would, I'd rather them suffer a paycheck than a life altering injury. I made it a culture of safety where we refused to allow anyone to do unsafe work and we reached a company record on safety, but that's because it wasn't on leadership... everyone wanted to be safe. On the other hand, I know a location that strictly does safety from a financial, company protecting, stand point and they've gone 5 years without an accident, they couldn't care less to know an employee's name or if they continue to work for them... but they have an impeccable safety record.

Truth is, safety is a personal priority, no one can make you hurt yourself on the job. You can choose life over a paycheck when given the choice to do something obviously unsafe. I've participated in over 100 incident investigations, I've never been apart of one where someone was told to do it, they did it on their own. Maybe with poor training or seeing a superior cut corners and think they can get away with it too, but not a direct cause by being told to do something unsafe. Most come down to not following already required PPE standards and implemented procedures, a blatant disregard for personal safety. Everyone wants to look to the employers for safety but at what point do we discuss employee responsibility? I feel like there should be zero tolerance for safety violations, if someone isn't wearing safety equipment where they need to they should be terminated on the spot in any industry, in any state; I'd venture to say 3/4 of hourly employees would disagree. I've been that employee, I hated safety glasses and hi-vis vests until I caught a nail in the lens and didn't get backed over by a forklift at 3am. Safety should always be everyone's priority, it fits with our survival instinct, the problem is we've muddied it with arbitrary productivity markers.

I could go on for days about safety, I am passionate about trying to help every person get home in the same health they came to work with. I don't think it's a question of what employers or employees can do to improve safety, it is what can we do as a modern culture to instill the safe working traits in the next generation of workforce? We need to get back to and building on practical safety training and discussions in schools, the workforce needs to know what safety is and what it looks like. We need to empower people to stop and refuse work when they know it isn't safe. Employees need to want to be safe and go home with the health they showed up with and employers need to make safety decisions to improve employee quality of life and not profit margins. This starts with education, collaboration and revolution.

I
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Tudor’s Answer

Start with a JHA (Job Hazard Analysis), identify the hazards and then how to protect the workers. I have to warn you this is not an easy task, but it is the right approach. Good luck!
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Boyd’s Answer

This is a very loaded question. As someone with employees under you, if you work at a company that has any kind of incident response plans or procedures in place already, I would advise you to read and follow those policies.

The goal is to be able to keep all of your employees that you are entrusted with safe and unharmed, but you may not be trained accordingly to handle such situations. If this type of thing is something that concerns you about having employees under you, I would definitely recommend seeking different trainings and educational opportunities to become more knowledgeable and trained on different incident response strategies.
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Robert’s Answer

Your company big or small should have something for emergencies. A clear protocol and best practices is essential. If they have one, they are thinking about their employees. Caring about the employee's well being is now just as important as salaries or insurance. Having a safe and healthy employee is critical to the company. If it's not, then I would look elsewhere.
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Madisyn’s Answer

Hi Laniya,

I'm assuming you're asking how entrepreneurs keep their employees safe.

Firstly, there are federal, state and local employee safety laws intended to prevent hazards. If an entrepreneur implements these laws effectively, it can help mitigate some safety risks. Additionally, entrepreneurs can come up with safety protocols/policies specific to their business and make sure employees know how serious these protocols/policies are. Essentially, the tone at the top of the organization should be that safety is a priority and the expectation is that everyone in the organization will abide by safety protocols, policies and laws at all times.
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