At Signsmart, our goal is to help promote safer businesses all over Australia.
If you ask us, every workplace should take extra measures to protect against accidents or injury..
And we aren’t just talking about factories – workplace safety is a matter that affects all businesses, including traditionally “safe” jobs like offices or retailers.
Of course, hanging up a couple of safety signs in the workplace and slapping together a rough plan won’t cut it – especially with something as important as workplace safety.
When planning for emergencies and accidents, start by…
1) Evaluating the most likely risks at your business
While all risks should be planned for, there’s no denying that some are more likely than others. For example, a business in Sydney’s CBD probably won’t need a bushfire plan!
Therefore, the first step in creating your emergency plan is to figure out what the most likely hazards or dangers at your business will be.
This tells you what you need to include in your emergency plans – for example, manufacturing businesses tend to feature lots of heavy-duty, high-powered machinery. As such, they face a higher risk of:
- Maiming or machinery-related injuries
Now that you know what the risks are – with this knowledge, you can start planning!
Additionally, certain hazards and risks may require unique plans, procedures and responses. For example, an electrical fire is treated much differently to a gas leak.
2) Talking to your team about risk and safety
What’s better than a thorough emergency safety procedure? Not having to deal with a workplace emergency or accident to begin with!
In step 1, you’ll have identified the most likely risks and what to do if things go wrong. Now you just have to figure out how to avoid these problems in the first place.
And there’s nobody better placed to help you with this than your employees!
We suggest going directly to your staff when it comes to establishing safe working procedures. After all, your employees are the ones that do this every day, and therefore will be in the best position to tell you what’s safe, and whether certain policies are overkill.
And once you know exactly what needs to be done, you’ll need to enshrine it with safety signs in the workplace.
Signsmart stocks a huge range of mandatory signs outlining essential safety equipment and procedures – click here to shop for mandatory signs for your workplace.
3) Assigning multiple people to riskier jobs
If you regularly go to the gym for weight training, you no doubt understand the importance of having a spotter, just in case you end up biting off more than you can chew at the weights bench.
And the workplace is no different!
If your workplace involves ladders, machinery or anything else that could potentially cause a workplace injury, you should encourage your team to bring someone along to spot. Even better, write it into policy.
While it may make things a smidge slower in the short-term, it’s well worth it!
4) Finding a way to keep in touch with your team
In most workplaces, you’ll know immediately if an accident occurs, or if one of your staff injures themselves.
In certain cases however, it can be hard to keep track of your employees. In certain situations, one of your staff could get into an accident, and you might not even realise it:
- Large rural properties
- Businesses with large facilities
- Isolated workers
The solution? Regular contact and check-ups with staff you can’t directly keep an eye on – thankfully, mobile phones make this easy!
In addition to informing you instantly when something goes wrong, it also means that you can more effectively get in touch with your staff in the event of an emergency.
Not to mention, it makes coordinating everything easier to boot!
5) Getting your systems checked regularly
In particular, we’re talking about electrical and gas systems.
Both of these substances appear in just about every workplace out there.
And both of them have the potential to be very dangerous.
As such, it’s essential that your electrical and gas systems are up-to-scratch!
That means getting your business looked at on a regular basis by a qualified sparkie or gas plumber.
Thankfully, many sparkies and plumbers offer service contracts with business clients, guaranteeing that your electricity and gas are safe and fit-for-purpose.
6) Encouraging a culture of reporting
Like we mentioned above, your employees have a unique boots-on-the-ground perspective. Thanks to their positions, they’re often the first to identify potential safety problems.
As a result, they should be encouraged to report any problems the moment they’re noticed!
It’s also a good idea to create a documentation system for recording issues as they’re detected. It’s easy for things to be forgotten if things are done solely face-to-face, after all.
Of course, encouraging staff to report potential safety issues is only one part of the equation – you will also have to be willing to listen and make changes as needed.
7) Getting the right safety signs for your workplace
When it comes to protecting your employees, it’s essential that you set up appropriate safety signs in the workplace.
There really isn’t much to say about this – safety signs communicate workplace hazards and dangers, as well as what needs to be done in order to stay safe at work:
- Dangerous goods signs help staff identify and handle dangerous substances
- Mandatory signs set out essential safety equipment like helmets and goggles
- Traffic and yard signs keep loading areas, depots and warehouses safe
- Hazchem signs identify corrosive or toxic substances
- Prohibition signs communicate what isn’t allowed in the workplace
In addition to identifying substances, safety signs also inform. In particular, emergency information panels (EIPs) are essential if you manufacture, transport, store or handle dangerous goods.
Need custom-made emergency information panels for your workplace? You need to get in touch with Signsmart!
Build a safer workplace with Signsmart’s workplace safety signs
When it comes to workplace safety, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Each workplace needs a different procedure, plan and system.
And of course, different safety signs!
At Signsmart, we specialise in custom signage, stickers and labels that help you meet your OHS obligations and keep your workplace safe.
Our process is simple – all you need to do is get in touch with us and tell us your signage requirements.
We’ll figure out your legal requirements and create signage to match, modify an existing design or creating a clean-sheet design just for you.