Four Ways You Can Commit to a Safer Workplace in 2024

Two women smiling as they review workplace safety protocols in a warehouse

As 2024 just begins to unfold, many are focusing on how they plan to commit to their New Year’s Resolutions. Even if you don’t have one yet, there’s no better time to start thinking about how you can make this year better than the last. TEAM invites you to make some New Year’s Resolutions with us that focus on workplace safety. Are you ready to commit?

Tip #1: Reduce Workplace Fatigue

Fatigue can have a significant impact on your employees. Not only does it decrease productivity, but it also decreases your employees’ quality of life and increases the risk of workplace incidents. While many factors are up to employees, such as getting a proper amount of sleep each night, there are some things that employers can help with.

Make sure shifts aren’t too long

According to the National Safety Council, work shifts lasting 10 hours or longer are more likely to cause a workplace accident or injury. Do your best to make sure your employees aren’t working for longer than 8 hours a shift, or if long shifts are required, give them ample break time to reduce fatigue.

Support your night shift workers

Night shift workers are more susceptible to fatigue than day shift workers since our circadian rhythm makes it difficult to sleep during the day and be awake during the night. Limiting the need for night shifts is the best option; but if it’s unavoidable, do whatever you can to support employees working the graveyard shift.

Reduce time on task

The longer an employee spends on a specific task, the harder it becomes to focus, and the more fatigue sets in. It’s even worse for simple and repetitive tasks like assembly line work, quality control, and long-haul driving. You can help reduce task fatigue by giving your employees ample break time or splitting up the workload so that no one employee is stuck doing one task for too long. (Again, this goes double for night shift workers.)

Promote good sleep habits

While you can’t force employees to get proper sleep, you can encourage good sleep habits at your workplace. Try encouraging employees to use online programs or apps that promote sleep and discourage your employees from skipping out on sleep to complete work-related tasks.

Tip #2: Prevent Impairment at Work

Workplace impairment is a huge risk to the safety of your employees. Being impaired at work, whether by drugs, alcohol, or other factors like a lack of sleep or illness, can affect an employee’s ability to perform work functions normally or safely.

Crackdown on substance abuse

Substance abuse in the workplace, whether from alcohol or illicit drugs, poses a severe risk to both employee safety and your bottom line. Being aware of the potential signs of substance abuse, having an effective return-to-duty program, and having pre-screening and random drug testing programs in place are just a few ways that employers can prevent substance abuse in the workplace.

Promote good self-care habits

Drugs and alcohol aren’t the only things that can cause impairment at work. Something else that can? Fatigue. That’s right, the tips from the section above are 2-for-1. Fatigue can affect productivity just as severely as substance use, so ensuring your employees are energized and well taken care of is vital. Other factors like mental health and physical illness can also cause impairment at work.

 

Tip #3: Reduce Physical Hazards

While reducing employee fatigue and ensuring everyone at your job is happy and healthy are important, no amount of self-care and employee resources will stop someone from slipping on a puddle of water or falling from an unsafe height. Physical hazards are just as important to pay attention to as fatigue and impairment.

Keep your workplace tidy

Tripping can’t occur if there’s nothing to trip on to begin with. Making sure there are no spills, stray objects, trash, or chords in your work area is one of the easiest ways to make sure nobody has an accidental fall.

Practice fall safety

Per the National Safety Council, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths. Simple things like using the proper equipment for a job, ensuring you have level ground, and having someone supporting the bottom of a ladder can be the difference between safety and fatal injury.

Tip #4: Make Sure You’re Hiring the Right People

Workplace safety starts before you’ve even hired your employees. Having an effective pre-employment screening program for your new hires is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re hiring exactly the people you want to be at your company. This can include background screening, drug testing, and more.

Ready to Commit?

Did any of these tips give you ideas for improving your workplace? If you want to show your commitment to a safer workplace for all to see, use the hashtag #SaferWorkplace2024 and post one thing from this blog you’ll practice in 2024! Be sure to tag TEAM on Facebook and LinkedIn too!

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