As a business owner, one of your most fundamental responsibilities is to ensure that your staff are safe and protected during their time in the workplace. There are three key components to the protection you must provide, as we have highlighted – along with examples – below.
1. Physical Protection
Your staff should be able to go through their working day without risk of injury or harm and, in the event of an emergency, have solutions available that help to preserve their physical well-being. Here are a few measures to consider:
> Supply any equipment that helps to preserve physical health. As well as health equipment that you are required to provide by law, look into other methods of improving physical well-being, such as ergonomic keyboards and chairs that provide lumbar support.
> Ensure staff can evacuate quickly and safely. In an emergency situation (such as a fire) in the building, time is of the essence, so ensure that all escape exits are kept clear at all times. You can also improve escape routes by asking the likes of A1S Group to install fire curtains, and by providing emergency lighting that will work even if the main power is no longer active.
2. Mental Protection
Mental health has become a significant talking point in recent years, and there’s no denying that this societal shift in attitudes has been welcomed by all. Consider the following when seeking to ensure that your staff’s mental health is as protected as possible:
> Accept staff taking “mental health days”. “Bad” mental health days happen, and staff should always feel that they can take the day off if they feel they are struggling – just as they would if they were physically unwell.
> Ensure staff do not take work home with them. It is now widely accepted that workers need to feel that they are able to fully disconnect from work, decompress, and maintain a good work-life balance for the sake of their mental health, so discourage staff from taking work home at the end of the day wherever possible.
3. Emotional Protection
The hardest aspect of protection to focus on is emotional protection. While many people would argue that emotions have no place in the workplace, humans are emotional beings, and there’s no switch that can turn off emotive responses and concerns. Here are a few ideas to consider:
> Ban raised voices. Being shouted at is never a pleasant experience and can be extremely distressing to employees so, outside of emergency situations where volume is a necessity, ban staff members from raising their voice to one another.
> Provide, and encourage the use of, a safe space. A safe space should be somewhere secluded and quiet that employees can retreat to if they are feeling overwhelmed or upset; somewhere that they can take a moment to steady themselves. Try to make sure you have at least one such area in your business premises and tell staff to use it whenever they need to.
4. In Conclusion
Focusing on the three areas above can ensure that your staff are as well-protected as you need them to be.