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Workplace safety and health: Is your business prepared?

Updated August 7, 2018 - 9:23 am

Emergencies and accidents on the job can happen at any time. In order to keep your business, employees and customers safe, it is important to have an effective safety and health management system in place. Establishing a thorough system will not only help keep your team safe on the job; it will also help to increase efficiency and productivity. Companies of all sizes need to have a comprehensive plan in place to protect their employees.

There are many tough questions you need to consider when looking at your company’s workplace safety and health programs. Does your staff know what do in the event of workplace violence, such as an active shooter? Are your policies effective for protecting your employees from falls — one of the leading causes of workplace injury and death? If your team works outdoors in the summer, do you have procedures in place to prevent health-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat rashes or heat stroke? Do you know if your written workplace safety program is compliant with the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards and Nevada’s statutes?

Examining whether or not your company’s current safety and health policies and procedures are effective can seem daunting. There are some key steps to take when establishing a successful and thorough workplace safety and health plan. First and foremost, you need to have a written plan in place, and your entire team needs to understand and know your safety and health policies and procedures. Training should be held to introduce your programs and teach your entire team about your company’s policies and procedures for workplace safety and health. It is critical that your management team embraces, follows and is an advocate for your company’s safety and health management system. This will help to ensure your entire team, from the top-down, knows the importance of and is committed to following your company’s plan.

It is also important to re-evaluate and update your workplace safety and health programs. Times change, and your safety and health policies and procedures may need to do so as well. As statutes change and OSHA standards evolve, your company’s safety and health management system’s policies and procedures should as well.

For many of Nevada’s small businesses, it is too costly to have a workplace safety and health manager or team on staff, and it can be too expensive to dedicate time to creating required workplace safety and health programs. This is where the State of Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section can step in and help with free safety and health consultation services and employee training. Our team of safety professionals will work with you to improve safety by enhancing your knowledge and understanding of OSHA regulations and State of Nevada safety statutes. SCATS provides free on-site safety and health training aimed at improving hazard recognition skills of management and employees in Las Vegas and throughout the state. In addition, SCATS can review and evaluate existing safety and health programs for compliance with the regulations, as well as effectiveness to protect your company, but more importantly, to help ensure the health and safety of your employees.

Ensuring that you have the tools, training and policies in place to make workplace safety a reality is one of the most important business practices your company needs to have in place. Safety on the job is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the costs of doing business. And it is the most important tool for ensuring your employees go home safely, each and every day.

To provide assistance to Nevada employers with workplace safety and health issues, SCATS offers free safety and health consultation services and employee training. For more information, email Todd Schultz at tschultz@business.nv.gov or visit http://4safenv.state.nv.us/.

Todd Schultz is the chief administrative officer for the Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section.

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