Effective Strategies For Improving Safety And Sustainability In The Workplace
March 10 2023 - Businesses across all industries understand how important it is to keep their employees safe at all times when they are in the workplace. However, these days, it's also becoming increasingly vital to focus on sustainable practices, as the effects of climate change become worryingly clear.
With such weighty responsibilities on their shoulders, how do businesses find ways to combine safety and sustainability without having to make any difficult compromises?
The good news is that there are a number of innovative techniques and strategies that companies can use to improve both the safety and sustainability of their workplaces - benefitting both their staff and the environment in the long run.
Read on to discover more about these positive practices and how you can incorporate them in the day-to-day management of your own business, whatever sector you work in.
Using Environmentally Friendly Equipment Wherever Possible
We all understand, on an intellectual level, the extensive damage that carbon emissions have done - and continue to do - to our planet. As a result, it's never been more important to use eco-friendly vehicles and equipment to carry out our work.
Fortunately, many vehicle and equipment manufacturers have risen to the challenge and released a wide variety of electric options that companies can use to reduce their carbon footprint. These range from electric cars and vans through to 'green' warehouse vehicles such as an electric tug or wheelbarrow.
For example, the electric tow tugs manufactured by Industar are free of both fumes and emissions, which make them incredibly low-impact. However, they also come with a range of safety benefits for your staff, which allows you to combine sustainability and workplace safety in one expertly designed machine. Because they are so easy to use, your staff won't even need to acquire a license to operate them, which will benefit your business budget too as you won't have to invest in training courses. It's a win-win situation for both you and the planet.
For businesses who rely on deliveries, electric cars and vans are the obvious answer, particularly as the UK government will be instituting its controversial ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.
Managing Business Waste Safely And Sustainably
Handling and disposing of waste in a safe and eco-friendly way can sometimes seem like a tall order, fraught with complexities. However, it's vital that businesses dedicate time and funds to managing their waste more effectively, not only to ensure the well-being of their staff but the environment as well.
One of the most important waste management strategies businesses should already be using is reusing and recycling as much of their waste as possible, and cutting down on single-use and disposable products. By reusing items as much as you can, you will not only be benefitting the planet, but you will also be reducing your business costs.
Of course, some forms of waste need to be disposed of right away, and as safely as possible, such as 'sharps' and chemical or biological waste. In the case of sharps, it's vital that your company provides dedicated bins where sharp objects such as syringes, broken glass, or discarded equipment can be disposed of without the risk of harming your staff.
Other sustainable waste management processes your business should be using - if you aren't already - including automating more tasks, to reduce the use of paper, and providing an adequate number of recycling bins so your staff can easily dispose of recyclable products and packaging.
Sustainable First Aid
As you surely know, all workplaces must have adequate first aid provisions and staff on hand who are trained to use them. This is a legal requirement, so that, should any accident or injury occur, the wounded person can be promptly treated.
However, what you may not know is that it is possible to compile an environmentally friendly first aid kit into the bargain, thereby helping to safeguard the planet as well as your workforce.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by opting to use first aid kits that use minimal amounts of plastic and feature items made using recycled products. For instance, gloves, bandages, plasters and dressings can all be wrapped in medical-grade paper packaging, rather than plastic. It may seem like a small contribution to sustainability, but if businesses across the country prioritise sustainable first aid kits over less eco-friendly options, it can still make a difference.
Of course, to ensure the utmost safety of your staff, it's vital that your first aid kits are inspected regularly to make sure everything they contain is within date, in good condition, and still safe to use.
Promoting Your Business Sustainability
As well as focusing on environmental sustainability - which is vital, if we want to combat the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change - companies also need to focus on their own workplace sustainability at the same time.
One effective way to do this is to place a firm focus on the physical and mental health of your staff, and make their well-being one of your top priorities. There are various techniques you can use to accomplish this, including investing in health-boosting team building activities and arranging lectures by nutritionists and other health specialists. You can also consider implementing no-smoking policies on site, and, in your workplace cafeteria, make sure your caterers provide healthy, nourishing meals and snacks (served with recyclable packaging, of course).
Keen to go a step further to enhance your employee well-being? You can also invest in a dedicated staff gym, where employees can enjoy a brisk workout on their breaks. You can also create a couple of 'quiet rooms' where colleagues can find some peace and quiet in the midst of a hectic day. With research revealing that almost half of UK workers are on the verge of burnout, it's never been more important to focus on conserving your staff's physical and mental health.
By doing all that you can to create a healthier workforce and a cleaner and healthier environment, you will be boosting your company's green credentials and making a positive difference for future generations.