The workplace: Making sure it’s a safe one

When you’re at your workplace, you should feel safe and protected.

As an employer, it is your job to make sure everyone feels this way, and as an employee, you have to also take some responsibility for your own wellbeing too. If something does happen, you should know what needs to be done in the situation.

Here are some examples of how you can keep the workplace safe.

Employers

If you’re an employer, you’re the person that is in charge of not only who gets a job and who doesn’t, but the safety of these people. The kind of environment that they work in is all down to you. Remember that if you’re known as a miserable boss, you can expect to end up with miserable staff too, so the way you work determines the kind of people that work for you. So pick wisely, and train well.

Dig a little before hiring

Hiring the right person for a business can vary in difficulty. Sometimes you may find someone that fits absolutely perfectly, while other times there may be a lack of something that you can’t quite put your finger on. The hiring process is extremely important, so one way to fish for more information on an individual is doing some background checking.

Call for references, and ask to know what the candidate’s usual demeanour is, and what happened when they made a mistake – not whether they can do the job they’re applying for. Hiring someone for their character is just as important as the skill set they have.

Create a safe, comfortable environment

Being a relatively strict boss may give you the impression that everyone will do their job correctly because they’ll be too fearful of slacking and having you to do deal with. But while this may work short term – the ramifications in the long term just aren’t worth it. What kind of environment would it be if everyone is constantly walking around on eggshells? – Not a comfortable one that’s for sure. Employees will bury their feelings and thoughts deep down until one day it all becomes too much and they’ll just explode, and that would reflect on you not having done your job properly.

Make sure you check-in

Make sure that you always take some time out to check-in with your employees and the managers regularly. It’s important to know how people are feeling because their emotions can really affect their working attitude. Once a week you can ask everyone how they’re getting on and if they have anything they want to bring to your attention. Or you can create a simple survey that asks everyone to rate their day between one and five. If you notice that a number that is usually high, suddenly dropping – speak to that individual and find out the problem so you can work through it.

Employees

Don’t take the blame if it wasn’t your fault

On unfortunate occasions, there may come a time where you injure yourself and have to take some time off work, but if you know that this happened because of something in particular and wasn’t your own doing, it’s important you cover yourself. If an accident happens in your workplace and you get hurt because of it, you should always contact injury lawyers to build a case so you’re getting all the compensation that you’re entitled to.

If you see something, say something

If you see something that isn’t quite right, like for example if a colleague is acting erratically – it is your duty to bring this to the attention of your manager. Regardless of whether you think it’s none of your business – if it’s concerning enough to grab your attention and question something, then it’s important enough to mention. There are stories all the time of people reporting an abusive conversation that they have overheard on the phone between a colleague and an ex, that leads to the police being called and arriving just in time before the ex turns up armed. Don’t ever think you’re being overdramatic – let someone know when there’s a problem.

Don’t go at it alone

If you feel uncomfortable because someone is making you feel that way, whether it be with inappropriate comments or touching – report them. Trying to deal with someone like this alone may not only make it worse but could get you hurt. And who knows how many people they have done this too. You may end up helping a lot of other victims who are too afraid to speak out.

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