A recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine outlines 7 important steps to keeping your workplace safe in the event of an emergency.
Our Winston-Salem worker’s compensation attorneys understand most instances of workplace violence occur because of a lack or proper planning and/or inadequate security.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine the first step in preparing for or dealing with any emergency situation in the workplace is to come to terms with reality. This means you must admit to yourself that there is the possibility of someone in your workplace becoming violent or another tragedy occurring.
Denial of real danger can make a dangerous situation far worse. Often after a workplace tragedy you will hear witnesses say “I never thought it could happen here.”
Second, you should always be aware and teach awareness to your employees. A criminal often utilizes the element of surprise to catch people off-guard. If you pay closer attention to unusual behavior you can eliminate the element of surprise.
You should be willing to report or inquire about suspicious activity. When challenging anyone acting unusual you should have a polite but assertive demeanor.
You should also seek expert safety advice. Law enforcement officials are often willing to give suggestions and may even provide courses that teach security procedures. Sometimes the safest procedures are not intuitive so expert advice is necessary.
Fourth, every employee should understand the plan of action in the event of an emergency. Any plan should be written down and be included in all employee manuals. It is a good idea to show this plan to your legal counsel.
Alone, the plan is not sufficient. You should also need to practice putting the plan into action by running drills. A drill should be conducted every six months and run through a variety of emergency situations and the proper response.
You should also spend time deciding who the leaders are in you organization. These are
the individuals who can help coordinate and take on additional responsibility if an emergency situation arises.
Lastly, it may be a good idea to provide basic safety and self-defense classes to all employees.
It is important to know that the steps outlined above will benefit both the employees and the employer. A list of employer benefits on entrepreneur.com includes:
Employers will benefit substantially from reduced absences of employees, lessen the cost of medical expenses, reduce insurance premiums, boosting productivity, and protecting your reputation.
The above list includes some obvious benefits but some may be less apparent. Protecting your businesses reputation can have unquantifiable benefits. If your company appears on the evening news with an employee being arrested or taken away in an ambulance the damage to your organization’s reputation can last for years.
In addition, workers who feel safe and health are more motivated and have higher productivity. This hidden benefit can have a direct effect on your company’s bottom line.
Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.
More Blog Resources:
Marine in Georgetown South Carolina Cited for OSHA Violations, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Blog, October 10, 2013
Fatal Transportation injuries are Primary Cause of Workplace Fatalities, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Blog, October 1, 2013.