If you’ve ever been injured at work, you probably understand that it’s more than an inconvenience. While it’s certainly unpleasant for the injured party, a workplace injury has consequences beyond band-aids and doctors visits. Workplace injuries affect productivity, overall safety, and trust in the workplace.
Taking on a management role means that part of your responsibility is the safety and well-being of your employees while they’re at work. While you’ll need help from your team (and maybe even a third party),
Different workplaces have different risks, but at a basic level, following the guidelines below will help you operate a safe, injury-free environment for your staff.
Train your staff on safety
Safety training may get eye rolls and snickers from your team, but don’t underestimate its importance. No matter what field you work in, there are always risks, and in many cases safety training is the best, most efficient way to get an entire team to understand the risks of their workplace and how to avoid them.
Leading safety training as a manager is tricky business: employees are used to seeing you in a certain role, and it may seem unexpected or confusing to have you step into a safety role as well. One way to generate interest in a safety training session would be to bring in an outside speaker to help. That way, instead of shouldering the burden yourself, you’ll offer your staff a credible third party who can give a solid training session.
In addition to bringing in a third party, make sure your training includes a take away piece that employees can reference at a later date. A book, pamphlet, or web site that includes all of the information presented at your safety training will help make sure they can refer back to the guidelines whenever they need to.
Check in at random intervals
In your safety training, you’ll cover the best processes for certain tasks in your restaurant, highlighting the safety tips for each step of the process. One of the most important things you can do to help employees stay safe is to ensure that they’ve clearly understood safety practices for each step of these processes.
When training is over and your team is back in place for a shift, do what you can to step in and assess their safety readiness. If it’s helpful, you can view this as a test, quizzing employees on the safety practices you learned in training.
Keeping these “pop quizzes” at random intervals will help keep your employees fresh. And remember, it’s less about finding their flaws and more about making sure everyone is operating as safely as possible.
Make safety everyone’s job
With the tips above, you may begin to think that safety lies in the hands of managers or outside parties. The truth is that avoiding injuries in the workplace relies on everyone. Unfortunately, most workplaces only realize this after someone’s been hurt.