Small-business owners and entrepreneurs have a lot on their plates. They’ll take on any role to make their businesses successful – jumping from marketing and accounting to window-cleaning and trash-bin emptying, often in a matter of minutes. With so many demands, and so many things to know, common health and safety hazards can go overlooked – even by those who consider the subject a top priority.
Luckily, many common mishaps can be avoided with a few simple checks. Here are some helpful tips small-business owners can use to enhance their safety plans, prevent common workplace accidents and mitigate risks to their business.
- Avoid slips and falls
Repair damage to flooring that could cause someone to trip and keep hallways clear of clutter. Outside, ensure all walkways are shoveled and salted immediately after snow falls.
- Be aware of electrical hazards
If you have several items plugged in at desks, make sure you invest in an Uninterruptible Power Supply to protect computers and keep the power from spiking. If renovations are being done that involve electrical systems, move staff to a safe work area.
- Limit manual handling and lifting
If jobs require people to lift items regularly, ensure a system is in place to get at hard-to-reach items. If they need to lift heavy objects, make sure employees have the tools they need and know how to operate them safely.
- Keep a well-stocked first aid kit in plain sight
If you have a large office, place several kits throughout the area and make sure someone on staff is trained in first aid.
- Create an emergency action plan
Outlines emergency exits, practice fire drills, co-ordinate safe meeting places and create a system to account for employees’ whereabouts.
- Identify staff who may need extra help in an emergency
Involve them in planning for their safety, and make sure the office is accessible, prepared for fires, power outages and other unexpected events.
- Promote fire safety
Identify potential fire hazards in your office and train staff how to use fire extinguishers.
- Avoid injuries by storing items safely
Place heavier items lower to the ground and distribute weight evenly in cabinets and on shelves.
- Help reduce back pain and repetitive strain injuries
Make sure desk chairs are properly adjusted, and computer monitors are at the right height for each user. Proper ergonomics will aid the longevity and health of staff that work at desks all day.
- Protect your business against water damage
Service HVAC equipment regularly. Pipes and other components in the system can leak, making the working environment more humid than it should be, which may give rise to other problems like mould.
To prevent accidents and injuries, it’s important to have safety guidelines in place. It’s also a legal requirement. And, in the event of the unexpected, the right insurance coverage can provide the solutions business owners need to protect what they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Contact your Financial Advisor to learn more about Business insurance.