3 Steps That Small Business Owners Can Take To Ensure Employee Safety

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3 Steps That Small Business Owners Can Take To Ensure Employee Safety

Nov 15, 2022
Employee with Hard Hat

No matter the size of your business, it’s essential to take preemptive steps to ensure the health and safety of your staff. If you have more than one employee, safety needs to be your top priority. Not only will it keep your staff comfortable and more focused on their work, but you can have peace of mind knowing you’re caring for workers who are loyal and essential to your business’ success. 

Chances are, safety wasn’t the first thing you thought of when you launched your small business. You might not know how to ensure the physical and mental well-being of your employees on the job or how to ensure your business is set up to financially and legally care for your employees.

Thankfully, ensuring employee safety is easier than you might think. Let’s take a closer look at how it can become a priority for your small business with three simple steps that will help you get started. 

1. Be a Better Leader

One of the best things you can do to prioritize employee safety is to develop better leadership skills. Almost every business has some kind of handbook or safety hazard guidebook in place. But, how often are those being implemented? Do your workers really know the ins and outs of those rules and why they’re so important?

If not, try things like:

  • Simulated events
  • Frequent training
  • Safety marketing
  • Monthly safety meetings

All of these things require strong leadership. As a business owner or manager, everyone already looks to you when it comes to what to do. If you don’t have the leadership skills necessary to give effective commands, you’ll be putting your employees at risk. Consider getting more formal leadership training or going back to school for an MBA. The benefits of getting an MBA, even after you’ve launched a career, include:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Networking opportunities
  • Leadership development.

If you want to ensure employee safety, look in the mirror first. What are you doing to educate and lead them when it comes to their overall well-being?

2. Protect Your Injured Employees

Sometimes, no matter what you do, accidents happen. That’s especially true in certain industries with the most workers’ compensation claims, including manufacturing and construction. Getting business insurance is not only crucial for protecting your company and your assets, but it also shows your employees that you’re ready and willing to take responsibility and offer them help and assistance if they get injured on the job.

Working with an insurance agent will also give you a better understanding of what you’re liable for if an employee gets injured on the job. You should also be aware of injuries that will allow your employees to receive workers’ compensation.

If you’re unsure how to start purchasing business insurance, start by assessing the risks of your business. What are the most common injuries? What kind of accidents could seriously damage your business? When you have a basic idea of your needs, it’s easier to shop around for the right insurance company. Without insurance, one injury on the job could cause serious financial harm to your business, and you likely wouldn’t be able to support or help the injured employee(s) the way you want to.

3. Don’t Ignore Mental Health

It’s easy to associate employee safety with physical risks. Obviously, things like slips and falls, machinery accidents, and human error are all major risks, depending on your industry. However, it’s important not to overlook the mental health issues that could be impacting your employees’ safety.

It’s estimated that 52% of American workers are struggling with burnout — especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the most common symptoms associated with burnout include:

  • Exhaustion and fatigue;
  • Excessive stress;
  • Trouble sleeping;
  • Feeling disconnected;
  • Sadness or anger.

Burnout can also lead to mental health issues like anxiety or depression. All of these symptoms are problematic for your business and your workers. Burnout causes a major dip in productivity and motivation. When an employee is feeling overwhelmed by stress, they’re less likely to focus on their job. Even if they’re doing their best, they’re likely not going to perform their daily tasks as well as they could.

More importantly, burnout can cause serious mental health harm. Depression, anxiety, and stress are nothing to take lightly. They can lead to dangerous physical problems or thoughts of self-harm.

As a business, prioritizing the mental well-being of your employees is crucial. Consider offering mental health resources at work, checking in with your employees regularly to ask how they’re feeling, and providing everyone with a list of mental health specialists in the area that they can turn to. By creating an environment of mental wellness, people will be more willing to open up and get help when they need it.

No matter the size of your business, employee safety is one of the major keys to longevity. Show your employees how valuable they are, and keep these tips in mind to ensure their safety on the job.

Meet The Author:


Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger.


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