To keep you up to speed on the latest safety trends, and to help you reduce injuries, Arbill has compiled the latest trends in workplace safety.
1. FOCUSING ON MENTAL AND PHYSICAL Health:
More and more employers are taking stock of mental illness in the workplace and how that impacts employee productivity and general safety. Psychological problems such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder are rightfully being discussed in today's society. As a result, employers are taking steps to be more inclusive toward workers afflicted with mental illnesses. These employers are working toward openness and inclusivity because they know to create a truly safe environment, employees should be focused, healthy, and in the right state of mind, especially if those employees are operating heavy machinery. Keeping everyone safe is no longer about following standards and rules, it is about taking the time out of our day to check in with those on the front lines.
Like mental health, good physical health is another key way to keep workers safe on the job. Recent studies found 40 percent of American adults today are obese, many of whom develop further diseases or aliments due their excess weight, like blood pressure problems and may be more at risk to heart attacks, strokes, and debilitating pains, which may lead to unsafe distractions at work. Excessive weight makes commonplace, simplistic tasks significantly more dangerous.
2. New and Improved Technology
Technology continues to change every industry from the medical field, to education, to safety. To effectively deal with the new changes, smart employers are investing in new technological advances, like wearable devices, to help keep their employees safer. Employers should also further explore the integration of technology in safety. For example, if employees began wearing things like smartwatches and wearable safety applications they would have the ability to conduct audits and report incidents on their mobile phones or tablets. Additionally, the wearable technology could also monitor your employees' safe (or unsafe) habits and allow your company to address the risks to safety in your workplace, all of which may aid in creating an action plan.
3. Stopping Substance Abuse
A recent CDC report reveals 2 million Americans currently live with a dependency on opioids. Opioids, much like alcohol, generally slow down breathing, thought processes, and severally reduces physical sensations in the body, including pain. The effects of opioids change depending on the drug of choice and the amount ingested, however any employee under the influence of opioids or alcohol will potentially be unable to respond in avoidable hazardous situations. There are several ways to address substance abuse in the workplace. However, the solutions to an intricate problem like substance abuse may vary depending on your company. One of the many ways to tackle the issue is to issue drug tests for employees and then mandate all employees who fail that test receive some form of help before they can come back to the workplace.
4. Increased Communication
Recently, more companies have increased the level of communication between their employees. Higher levels of communication are linked with higher levels of safety because safe environments thrive in open communication. If workers fear their employer's reaction to a broken-down or damaged piece of new machinery they are less likely to report that unsafe situation to avoid upsetting the boss. The situation is especially unlikely to be reported if the worker and the boss have had previously no contact with one another and the employee does not want the boss's first impression of the worker to be bad news.
One way to combat this is by having more Toolbox Talks, safety meetings, and company-wide activities. Activities that boost communication and worker engagement are surefire ways to positively increase safety in the workplace and allow for employees to feel safe reporting potential safety hazards and stop accidents from happening.
5. Buckling down on Safety
Companies in other countries know how important cultivating a safe work environment for employees is and began changing rules and policies to keep their workers safer. Some employers turned to crafting entirely new safety legislation while others began fining those who break company safety policies. In those companies, the fines can apply to individual workers who needlessly endanger themselves and others or the fines can be applied in a larger sense—towards the whole company.
Additionally, fining your workers for unsafe behaviors will bring a drastic decrease in any unsafe behaviors occurring at the job site. An increase in fines—and fining in general—sends a message to the public and to your workers that you and your company prioritize safety and demand the same for all those who work with you. While issuing fines may not be right for every company, it is an approach worthy of consideration.
As a safety solutions company, Arbill is all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.