When you run a business, there are many things you are going to need to think about, and all of them will be vying for your attention because all of them will be important in one way or another. However, the safety of the public (including your employees) should be at the top of your priority list because if you are unable to keep people away from harm. Not only could your reputation suffer and your business decline or even fail, but you could seriously harm someone – or worse.
Therefore, you must take public safety extremely seriously. Here are some useful tips to ensure that everyone who works for you, buys from you, or is simply in contact with your business can stay as safe as possible.
Carry Out A Risk Assessment
A risk assessment isn’t just something that those working in hazardous environments need to think about; every business should consider carrying one out. It may take some time, but once you are done, you will be able to see exactly where the problem areas (or potential problem areas) are in your business, and then you will be able to do something about them.
A risk assessment is the process of looking at each separate part of your business (including but not limited to the physical workplace) and identifying the risks that are there. This could be using power tools, it could be working online, it could even be the fact that your employees must attend appointments in people’s homes. Identify each risk and then do what is needed to mitigate that risk and reduce it as much as possible, if you can eliminate it altogether, then that’s even better.
Some risk assessments are simple to carry out, and some will take much longer, but they are always required. Understanding more about public safety and crime will be beneficial to your risk assessments, and at Wilfrid Laurier Online, you can do just that.
Reduce Workplace Stress
Stress can be a big problem in the workplace, and if you can reduce it as much as possible, everyone will be much safer. Stress can come about through working excessive hours, having a heavy workload, feeling insecure about the job, or having conflicts with co-workers. It can even be caused by not enjoying the work at all.
The problem with stress is that it can lead to more severe problems, including:
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of sleep
- Apathy towards work, colleagues, and customers
All these problems can mean that the workplace is not a safe space to be in. Imagine someone working with power tools who have not had enough sleep or who can’t concentrate; a lot could go wrong. Therefore, reducing workplace stress is essential. You can do this by capping the number of hours people work to a safe level and by ensuring your employees know they can talk to you about their problems whenever they need to.
Regular breaks are also essential. Just fifteen minutes is often enough to ‘re-set’ someone, especially if they can go outside and breathe in some fresh air. They will be much more able to concentrate and be much safer in their work when they return. Your customers and other employees will be safer simply because people are taking more breaks.
Keeping people safe isn’t just about the physical aspect; it’s about keeping their data safe too, and ensuring that no one can steal their personal information such as credit card details, names, and addresses to use to steal money or to use in identity theft. If you can show that you are taking these concerns seriously, people will be much happier to buy from you.
One way to do this is to utilize cloud storage for your essential documents and information. By saving everything to the cloud rather than locally on your computer or computer network, you are giving it an extra level of protection that it otherwise wouldn’t have had. As a bonus of this, if you save everything to the cloud, you will also be able to work on it no matter where you are, as will any colleague or employer who has the password.
You can also make sure that your own computer network is safe by using firewalls, virus protection, and by backing everything up.
Protect the Premises
Whether or not customers come to your premises, you still need to keep it secure and safe for your employees, suppliers, and for yourself. Lighting is a great way to start. If you light the pathway to the building and the entrance well, people will be able to find the door without a problem even in the dark – this can save them tumbling and tripping, and will also hopefully save too many scratches on the door as people try to unlock it without being able to see very well. Lighting also serves as a deterrent to thieves; it is much easier for them to break into a property that has no lighting, so ideally, they will leave yours alone once they see it is well lit.
Surveillance cameras are another excellent deterrent. Again, it is an obstacle that most thieves simply won’t want to have to deal with, and they will bypass your building if they can see that you have surveillance cameras in place. Having cameras is not about tricking thieves into getting caught; it’s about trying to dissuade them from attempting to break in. Because of this, it’s a good idea to advertise the fact that you have these cameras in place – put signs up with all the information so that even if they are not immediately visible, thieves will still know they are there.
When you are doing your risk assessment, you can also check the integrity of doors and windows. Make sure they can all be locked and that they are not easy to force open – if they are, this is your perfect opportunity to fix them and keep everyone and everything safe.