For the first time since The Octopus by Upton Sinclair, workplace safety has made the headlines throughout 2020. COVID-19 has refocused every workplace on safety; however, the real driving force behind a safe workplace is a culture of safety. Each employee must be thinking not only of themselves, of their needs, but of the needs of the team. Whether that means staying home when sick or cleaning up a spill immediately, there must be a culture of safety that resounds with every employee.
Safety in the workplace: Personal health
In 2020, people began to realize that personal health is actually community health. When you come to work sick, you’re taking a risk that you’ll infect your co-workers and customers. In 2019 and before, people perceived coming to work when sick as a badge of honor, showing devotion to the job. Now, it is your job to take your temperature, check for symptoms, and make sure you’re healthy and well before going to work.
As we move into 2021, the need for personal health and well-being is going to continue front and center. The vaccine is available, masks have become a political issue, and every person must make choices to protect themselves, their team, and their family. A culture of safety can make sure each person makes the best choice for the team.
Safety in the workplace: Team health
Every year, safety training is encouraged. CPR, AED and first aid are among the training types that can help your team take care of each other. It’s big things, like knowing how and when to use the AED, and small things, like taking food home from the employee fridge so it doesn’t create pathogens and cleaning up a spill so that no one slips and falls.
An employer can post every sign and send every email, but if the team doesn’t care for safety and doesn’t care for their team, all the signage in the world won’t make a difference.
This year, health is a focal point for everyone. Encourage your team to make the right choice.