Top 6 tips for a Safer Workspace | In a Heartbeat

Top 6 tips for a Safer Workspace

Change can be challenging, especially when it involves a lot of different people working with entrenched habits, such as in a workplace setting. With incidents of active violence on the rise again, it’s a good time to think about adding or improving safety measures for your business. How can you promote safety at work and encourage employees to adopt safer habits? Learn how to increase your board, employees, and clients’ preparedness for an emergency with the following tips.

1. Establish a Safety Culture at Work

What practices are defined as safe and unsafe in your workplace? Rather than relying on “common sense” or assuming that everyone knows what might create a hazard, it’s important to provide concrete rules and specific examples for employees. Think about the circumstances and behaviors that might pose a danger to the employees, guests, or clients, and think about whether employees are empowered to identify and mitigate those hazards. Organizations can sometimes undermine their own written safety standards with their work culture. For example, say that your workplace has a policy requiring specific PPE while on site, but members of management are regularly seen not wearing it. They send the message that PPE is merely an inconvenience to be imposed on junior staff, and not actually necessary to maintain safety. Communicating the expectations regarding safety and modeling those practices creates a standard, instead of just a formality. It makes everyone accountable and responsible for keeping the workplace safe. This practice makes it easier for staff at all levels to notice, point out, prevent, and quickly respond to dangerous situations. 

Organizations should also be sure that they aren’t enforcing expectations that run counter to their own stated safety goals. If production quotas and work expectations are set too high for staff to complete their tasks on time while following all safety guidelines, then those guidelines are clearly expected to be ignored. A strong safety culture isn’t only about what an organization says is important, but also about what they show to be important with the goals and expectations they set for workers.  

2. Model Good Situational Awareness for Employees

A natural reaction to an unfamiliar situation is to hesitate, panic, fight, or flee. There is no way to predict how a group of people will respond to an emergency if they haven’t been specifically trained and prepared to respond to an emergency. If a frightening situation arises at work, such as a health emergency or an incident of active violence, people could panic and increase their chances of getting harmed. Situational awareness involves training employees to recognize hazards that could lead to unsafe situations, and responding to emergencies appropriately. Group safety training at your place of business, such as our Adult & Pediatric CPR AED Course or Surviving Active Violence & Emergencies (SAVE) class, could greatly help individuals identify a threat quickly and respond effectively. Fill out our contact form to get more information or register for a group safety class for your place of business

3. Get Effective Response Training

Ask the experts what the best steps are when it comes to emergencies in your workplace. Experienced individuals can teach you about warning signs to watch out for, what to expect, and how to react. In A Heartbeat’s Surviving Active Violence & Emergencies class is tailored to your group. Your location, demographics, building layout, potential threats, and other unique factors are used to tailor your group’s training and design the most effective active emergency response for your workplace.

4. Regularly Rehearse Safety Responses

Active emergencies are difficult to predict, but simple to prepare and train for. Repetition and practice can help employees provide a calm and effective response during what would otherwise be a frightening situation. It is important to keep practicing, refreshing, and reviewing your workplace’s safety protocols so people can easily remember and react in case of an emergency. As they say, practice makes perfect. Practice leads to familiarity, and familiarity lessens fear. Emergency preparedness training can help provide the script for people to react when faced with an unfamiliar situation.

5. Conduct Emergency Drills

After learning how to respond effectively, try out your safety plan through drills. Drills are different from a review because they more closely mimic reality in an emergency. Workers can assess how quickly they should act and what variables they have to consider personally and as a group. It may also help you to identify gaps or flaws in the safety plan that would lessen the effectiveness in a real-life scenario.

6. Keep Facilities and Equipment in Good Condition

When things function the way they should, it greatly helps individuals trying to protect themselves in an emergency. Locks on doors should lock and unlock properly, emergency exits should be passable, alarms should ring, and phone lines should work properly and be maintained in good condition at all times. Fire alarms should always be functional, and if your workplace has defibrillators or other medical equipment, they should be tested and checked often. Make sure that emergency equipment is marked and easy to find, so that no one needs to scramble or go searching in an emergency. 

Although everyone knows that safety is important, it’s easy to take it for granted and put it at the bottom of the list when employees have so many other things to do and think about while performing their responsibilities to the organization. Management must make safety a priority, and gradually incorporate safety measures into the workplace if necessary to get everyone to actively participate in keeping the workplace and their coworkers safe. Through a SAVE class, you can start introducing safety awareness and response to your workplace with hands-on training tailored directly to your group and place of business. Contact us at to learn more.

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