Safety is one of the last things on a startup’s list of concerns, but it should be one of the top. Along with the well-being of your employees, you should be worried about protecting your capital and making sure that nothing gets in the way of making your business dreams a reality.
Far too many startups are unaware of their legal and moral responsibilities when it comes to safety.
Why should startups invest more in safety?
Safety-conscious businesses make more money. That’s a fact. OSHA calculates that businesses save $4-6 for every $1 they spend on safety. Think about it: businesses that make safety a priority don’t have to spend as much (or any) money on lawsuits, legal fees, repair costs, etc.
All of the money you save by investing in safety will translate to higher revenue and profits.
Consumers and investors trust safety-conscious businesses. Consumers don’t want to purchase products or services from dangerous companies, and accusations of employee mistreatment can sink a small- or medium-sized business.
Employee Trust and Motivation
Employees are even more concerned about safety than consumers and investors because it affects them personally. Sure, there are industries that are inherently dangerous, but that doesn’t mean that a company shouldn’t make safety an integral part of the workplace culture.
Accidents and injuries only lower morale in a business.
Safety training, on the other hand, can motivate employees, which improves production. Proper training will give your employees confidence, and they’ll be more likely to stick around if they know that safety is a top priority.
How to Make Safety a Priority
It’s impossible to prevent every accident, but there are steps that you can take to minimize the risks:
Make Safety Rules Visible
Safety rules need to be visible and accessible by employees. It’s not enough to have your safety measures in the rule book.
Summarize these rules into a clear, concise list, and display that list in several key visible areas as a reminder to employees.
Training and Planning
Training and planning will go a long way in making the workplace safer, particularly if your startup is in a more dangerous field.
There were 5,190 reported workplace fatalities in 2016. You can help prevent some of these accidents simply by ensuring that your employees receive the appropriate safety training. OSHA provides workplace safety rules for all kinds of occupations, so that will be your first place to start.
Make it Part of the Workplace Culture
It’s much easier to avoid accidents and injuries when your employees care about safety. Make safety a part of the workplace culture. Encourage your employees to be mindful of their surroundings and to always be on the lookout for potential hazards.
Make sure that all employees feel empowered to speak up about hazards before it’s too late. Management should be quick to handle such reports and resolve the problem as soon as possible.
When safety becomes second-nature to your employees, risks of accidents and injuries are reduced.