Blog: Ensuring employee safety in the workplace

Employee Relations

Ensuring employee safety in the workplace

Discussing the growing awareness of employee safety in today’s business environment.
Ensuring employee safety in the workplace

Be it a large private organization, a young start-up, or a government enterprise, employee safety is a critical and essential responsibility of every employer. This means that every employee, regardless of age, gender, culture, race, and religion, should feel safe while working in any organization. Most organizations maintain a "Code of Conduct" to ensure the work environment is secured for all the employees, but some do not enforce it strictly or pay mere lip-service to it. If an organization gains a reputation of not following employee safety norms, it might face severe legal repercussions, and irretrievable damage to its credibility, finances, and reputation. In most organizations, employee safety devolves on the Human Resource managers. They tend to ensure not only that the Code of Conduct meaningfully covers all aspects of employee safety, but also that Code of Conduct guidelines are followed in practice.

Providing safety training and incorporating human safety in human resource management 

Enterprises normally develop and enforce safety policies, such as limiting access to unsafe work areas. However, organizations must also educate their employees on first aid procedures and provide first aid equipment in all work areas. They must inspect the physical space of the workplace to identify dangers and create a plan of action in case of emergencies that may threaten the workplace. Establishing a procedure for visitors in the workplace that involves scrutinized access is yet another safety measure taken by enterprises. 

In the past few years, several workplaces have organized emergency evacuation drills to confirm that employees take alerts seriously. In safer and more controlled settings, such as office buildings where employees face less threats, the HR managers cultivate safety programs that are appropriate for these environments. HR must also conduct rigorous background checks on potential employees to identify red flags that can potentially threaten the safety of other employees.  

Fostering safe workplaces for women

Over the past decade, workplaces have certainly become more diverse. With the increasing involvement of women in the workforce, India aspires to promote gender equality among its working population. The amendment in the country’s Maternity Benefit Act in 2017 is a testimony to that. According to the new law, working mothers can take a maternity leave of 26 weeks for two children, which earlier was restricted to 12 weeks. Provided that the nature of work allows this, new mothers can also work from home upon rejoining after their leave for maternity. Benefits like these can help women focus on their health and return to work with maximum productivity. Organizations are now willing to walk the extra mile to create a safe, secure, and inclusive work atmosphere by introducing women-oriented policies. There has been an uptick in setting up sexual harassment committees, policies encouraging open communication, and setting up robust safeguards as well. 

Ensuring safe transportation

Most organizations typically follow shift-based work hours because of which some employees, including women, have to commute during odd hours using company-sponsored unorganized cabs services. Unfortunately, many instances have been reported where employee safety was compromised while they are traveling by road. Even though the central and state government are taking necessary legislative measures towards ensuring the safety of women in public spaces, several employers are doing their bit by providing safe and effective modes of travel to women. For instance, organizations are outsourcing established on-demand transportation service providers to guarantee a secured, reliable, and comfortable transportation solution to all their employees. Such service providers also provide added safety features to assure reliable and customer-friendly transportation to all employees. 

Human life is priceless and irreplaceable and Employee workplace safety is of paramount importance. The sooner organizations embrace this fact, the better safeguards they can put in place. Employees working in safe workplaces will not only be more productive, motivated, and engaged, but become strong employee ambassadors as well. 

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Topics: Employee Relations, #GuestArticle

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