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As a business owner, you must ensure that you have measures in place to keep your employees safe when they are at work.
The welfare of your workers is your responsibility as a business owner and is a legal requirement. In addition to being legally required, having the right workplace safety measures in place will also ensure that your team can work productively in the confidence that they are out of harm's way.
While workplace safety is certainly important in terms of your team's welfare, having a safer workplace will also benefit business owners. With the right safety protocols in place, there will be less staff turnover, as employees will feel safe when they are at work.
If your team is working in high-risk situations, such as accessing the roof via a roof access hatch, having adequate safety equipment in place will give them the confidence to work more freely, increasing efficiency and productivity.
Finally, providing a safe workplace will help to reduce injury in the workplace, minimising costs associated with an incident at your premises, such as covering the costs of injury, sick pay or worker's compensation.
Let's take a closer look at some useful tips to help you create a safer work environment for your employees moving forward.
Assess the risks
To ensure that you have the right safety protocols in place, first, you need to assess the risks in your workplace.
Every workplace is different and poses various risks, dangers and threats to employees. For example, a factory and a mine, can both be hazardous if not managed properly but the safety risks are very different.
Understanding the unique safety risks at your business premises will help you to put the right measures in place to keep your team safe from injury.
The type of work
The type of work that your team is carrying out can also impact which safety measures need to be implemented. Focusing on the specific safety needs of your employees and the potential risks at your workplace, you can put effective measures in place to minimise the risk of someone being injured while working.
A butcher, for example, will need different protective clothing compared to a welder or a chef. The type of work that your employees are doing each day needs to be addressed to ensure that you create as safe a work environment as possible at your business premises.
Your legal obligations
While each State and Territory has its own work health safety regulations, and its own local regulators to enforce these laws, there are some basic commonalities. As an employer, it is your legal obligation to provide a safe work environment for your team, provide safety machinery and safe ways of working.
You must also provide machinery and structures that are safe and it is your responsibility to maintain them to ensure they remain safe, as well as store them correctly.
Adequate facilities must be provided to your employees, and you must offer instruction, training and other information related to safety protocols in the workplace. It is also the employer's responsibility to monitor the health of employees and the working conditions, so everything remains above board.
Provide a safe workplace for your team to thrive
If you want your business to succeed, you need your team to be able to work to their full potential. Providing a safe workplace for your employees will ensure that they can work efficiently, increasing productivity in your business.
What's more, minimising the risk of injury will reduce employee absence due to injuries in the workplace. While it is your legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for your staff, business owners also have a lot to gain from having the right safety measures in place at their premises.