Employers have a duty to provide a safe work environment for their employees. While it is fairly easy to think about basic things like keeping the floors free from slip and trip hazards, there are other considerations that need to be factored into the safety plan.
The onus of workplace safety falls on the employer, but it might help to bolster the culture of safety if employees are included in the planning and execution of the protocol. With this in mind, companies might choose to implement these points.
- Provide ergonomic equipment. Even though some people may push for alternatives like yoga ball chairs, sticking with equipment that is proven safe can help to keep employees out of harm's way.
- Extend training. Companies often try to rush through an orientation without actually offering real training. Extending the training program to include lessons in safety, and possibly including mentoring, can be beneficial to everyone.
- Hold safety meet-ups. On average, a new employee remains engaged in their duties for the first six months they hold a job. Once that passes, it can behoove a company to have periodic safety meet-ups with employees. They can do this in a variety of ways, including department meetings or individual safety evaluations.
- Encourage physical activity. One workplace hazard that not everyone thinks about is the lack of movement in some jobs. Finding ways to get employees moving might include hosting walking meetings when things like whiteboards or presentations aren't needed.
- Address any safety issues immediately. It is easier for employees to see their mistakes if they are told about them immediately. Managers should offer guidance about how to correct the problem.
- Provide reminders of safety risks. Workers should be warned of the hazards of their job duties when they begin the job, but they will also likely need to be reminded periodically. Posting warnings and reminders of important points might help to prevent accidents.
Illinois employers are required to have workers' compensation policies for their employees. When an employee is injured in an accident while they are working, they should alert their employer so that the benefit process can begin. This includes coverage for the medical bills they have due to the injuries, and it might involve partial wage replacement if the injured worker is unable to return to work within a few days after the accident.