We spend about 90,000 hours across our lifetime working. That’s 1/3 of our adult lives, according to the World Health Organisation. Therefore, having a positive workplace is extremely important to our well being, since we spend so much time in them.
So how can we ensure a positive workplace? There is a lot of discussion about workplace happiness and health benefits people, but little is attention is paid to workplace safety. It should be clear that workplace safety is an important topic and helps build a positive workplace, but we just don’t talk about it enough. We are rarely aware of all the hazards that exist around the workplace.
Safe Work Australia has a dedicate government statutory body towards a safe workplace which lists all the laws and regulations that workplaces need to comply with. They also present all the latest casualty research reports to give you a better understanding of the hazards that take place in the workplace and how to avoid them.
So how do we check if your workplace is safe for your employees and visitors? In this article, we go through 5 important signs to look out for.
1. Do you remember the last time you went through the government’s code of practice for the safe workplace?
It is important to keep up-to-date with the latest safety rules and regulations published by the government. If you are not aware of such rules or have no idea that it even exists, you are putting your employees and visitors at risk.
2. When was the last time you carried out a workshop with your employees to understand the various exit strategies during an emergency?
Safety drills are not designed for convenience or box-ticking. They are designed to make people aware of accidents which can happen at any time and safety procedures in those situations. Keep your staff updated with regular drills. Consider whether there have been any recent changes around the office and external to the premises, which may impact safety procedures. Encourage and activate your employees and visitors to participate in the program for everyone’s safety.
3. Are there enough signs around your office to guide people to safety exits?
Simply put, do you know where the emergency exit doors are at your workplace? You might, but do all your employees? If not, then that is a problem which needs fixing. Just like road safety signs and symbols, your workplace also needs to have all the relevant warning signs to guide people towards safety.
4. Have you invited third-party agencies to carry out your workplace safety audit?
Over a period of time, as we get more familiar with our workplace environment, we tend to take things for granted. Hence, bringing trained experts is necessary to discover threats and risks existing in the environment.
5. Are you aware of all the monitoring technologies that need to be placed at a workplace?
Not every workplace is the same. Compared to manufacturing workplaces, fewer hazards can be present in the regular corporate office. Hence, we often ignore the importance of the security system that is necessary for our office. Firstly, you have to understand what kind of workplace category you fall under, as labelled by the government. Then, follow their respective rules and regulations accordingly.
Returning to the workplace: The importance of safety and convenience to increase employee attendance
As restrictions ease and ’work from home’ orders are lifted, organisations are encouraging employees to return to the workplace. There are benefits to in-person attendance including collaboration, socialisation and productivity. However, the pandemic has shed new light on remote and hybrid working and employees now want to have more convenience