How do I Create a Safe Work Environment?

Sheri Cyprus

The first step in creating a safe work environment is to make sure you are following all of the laws and regulations in your geographical area. Not only can doing this help guide you in making a safe workplace, but if someone was injured on your commercial property and your company was found to have not complied with local, regional or national business laws, your firm could end up in serious legal trouble. Government booklets from workplace safety agencies can provide you with specific information to help you make a safe work environment that also fulfills your company's legal responsibilities. You should constantly be monitoring all employees and work spaces to make sure a safe, non-hostile work environment that meets all required safety codes is being maintained at all times.

Staff are treated respectfully in a safe work environment.
Staff are treated respectfully in a safe work environment.

Many companies make at least one of their employees a safety monitor. This person is then responsible for ensuring that the business follows safety laws and requirements. He or she may keep in contact with local or regional safety agencies for updates on new requirements. A workplace safety monitor also usually conducts regular fire drills; in small companies in which there is no human resources department, the safety monitor may also serve as the employee complaint contact. To avoid possible employee lawsuits, you should do everything possible to create and support a positive, safe work environment.

Some work environments require the use of safety goggles.
Some work environments require the use of safety goggles.

All staff should be treated respectfully without harassment. Company policy regarding employee behavioral expectations should be created and enforced in compliance with the law. Any complaints, either from employees or customers, should be handled promptly and in accordance with the law. Employees who behave in any way that could endanger anyone should be warned or terminated as required to both follow legal handling of the situation and ensure a safe working environment for everyone.

Employees who act hostile toward others should be warned or fired.
Employees who act hostile toward others should be warned or fired.

Your company should also be prepared in case of an emergency situation. A first aid kit and emergency food and water supplies should be stored accessibly with the items changed periodically to ensure freshness. Emergency preparedness drills and meetings can help your company work toward a safe work environment as would be possible in case of a natural disaster such as a flood.

Respirator masks should be worn by contractors working in an area where there is a risk of hazardous gases or particles.
Respirator masks should be worn by contractors working in an area where there is a risk of hazardous gases or particles.

Electrical and other hazards should be avoided in the workplace through proper maintenance. Equipment should be regularly serviced and precautions such as wearing safety goggles or other gear including helmets, gloves or steel-toed work boots should be enforced by your company. A safe work environment is something that the company as well as its staff should constantly be focused on achieving.

Learning from past mistakes is an important part of creating a safe work environment.
Learning from past mistakes is an important part of creating a safe work environment.

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Discussion Comments

FitzMaurice

Health and safety in the workplace are important for a productive work environment. If people feel physically threatened by their work environment, they can either file a legal complaint or else just quit. This is usually the safe thing to do, and if they don't do it, then they are showing that they are willing to put their life on the line for money.

Armas1313

@BigBloom

This is true, there are many very dangerous jobs in the US. There are even more, however, outside of this country. Actually, in some countries, any job involving a significant amount of cash is quite dangerous, because there is always somebody else who wants that cash, and there are relatively few legal restrictions keeping them from getting it.

BigBloom

It is interesting to see the popularity of TV shows and documentaries based on dangerous jobs. We used to think that risking one's life for money was a thing of the past, when behold, TV and the media have shown us how dangerous occupations like mining, logging, and fishing, can still be.

TrogJoe19

Large safety unions like OSHA help to keep business practices safe and ensure that methods are learned and licenses are obtained for operating any sort of dangerous machinery or working with chemicals. Some accidents are unavoidable and random, however, and any work environment involves a certain degree of physical risk.

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