Be it a private company, government organisation, NGO, school, or university, employee safety is a fundamentally critical responsibility of each and every organization. While organizations often forget this, material property is always replicable, and monetary revenue fluctuates regularly. Human life is something which is priceless and irreplaceable, besides being an irrevocable loss. Moreover, an organization which gains a reputation for flouting safety norms, can suffer severe legal repercussions, and irreparable damage to its credibility, finances, and reputation, which is why, they should never be taken lightly.
There are numerous ways in which an employer can make the workplace safer for all who frequent the premises of the company. The following are a few of the most fool-proof ways to do so, as suggested by Dr. Santosh Datar, Medical Director and Consultant Doctor, Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd, Asia's largest emergency medical service (EMS) provider.
Fire safety norms
Fire accidents kill thousands of people every year, several hundreds of which are Indians. The majority of these incidents are caused not by mechanical failures, or nature, but rather, because of human error and negligence. Most fire outbreaks can be avoided altogether by following fire safety norms imposed by the municipality, which include having clearly marked fire exits, extinguishers at regular intervals, employees trained in fire-fighting techniques, and fully functioning sprinkler systems. Before conducting any trainings, employees should be given instruction manuals with all emergency numbers. For any fire related emergencies 101 should be dialled from any land line of mobile phone. It is also important to organise and conduct fire drills regularly, and ensure that each and every employee is well aware of the evacuation plans of the premises/building.
First aid training to employees
The vast majority of injury-related deaths occur because patients do not receive immediate medical attention. Knowing how to perform first aid can be a valuable skill to possess, using which, an emergency can be attended to, even before the arrival of a professional EMT or paramedic. Before administering any first aid, one should dial 108 for ambulance assistance. Training in basic first aid for employees can go a long way towards preventing injuries from turning into life-threatening conditions.
These days it is important for ambulances to be stationed in huge corporate parks/ multi-national companies in order to provide professional care to the people in case of medical emergencies. When it comes to saving people, time is of the essence, and any delay can have dire consequences for the patient. Hence it is imperative to provide the patient with quality care in case of a grave accident at the workplace. Employers or companies can outsource their emergency services to professional private players whose core expertise lies in providing quality emergency care to the patients.
Ensuring maintenance of hygiene
An alarming number of workplace injuries occur because of something as trivial and basic as undermined hygiene and cleanliness. Whether it’s slippery floors, tangled cords, disorganised tools, cluttered furniture, or improperly stacked boxes. In fact, several instances exist where employees in organisations all around the world have frequently injured themselves because of untidy workspaces. To avoid such incidents, it is very important for companies to invest in cleanliness and proper inventory management systems. Alongside, the offices should make sure they have a resident ambulance in the campus to ensure immediate assistance.
Memorise all emergency service numbers
It is always advisable for employees of an organization to memorise the relevant EMS numbers, such as 102/108 (this may vary from state to state and region to region) for obtaining emergency medical aid, in case there is a serious accident or any other medical emergency at the work place. In such a situation, contacting the emergency services is the first thing one should do, as it is imperative that the patient receives the essential medical aid within the Golden Hour.
There’s no shortage of steps an employer can take to ensure absolute safety for his or her employees, but a few important precautions can severely minimise the mishappenings. That being said, however, the best way to improve workplace survivability is to consult or tie-up with industry professionals and medical experts, who can operate on a case-to-case basis. It also helps to enlist the services of a dedicated emergency service if the organisation is particularly large, or the line of business is dangerous. Ultimately, while profits do drive a company, protecting human life should always be its first and foremost priority.