Employees’ safety should always be a priority. They are the people standing on the first line of the defence, handling the toughest assignments. Without these, companies can’t grow. The least they deserve clearly defined safety protocols aimed to take care of their health.
Workplace safety protocols can educate employees (as well as employers) about how to perform their work with minimal risk. These protocols should touch the subjects of safety concerns, operating equipment safety, and precautions about their work environment.
So, what does it take to write workplace safety protocols that everyone will understand and respect? Keep on reading to find out.
Why Is Writing Workplace Safety Protocols Important?
Did you know that a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds? The number of accidents at work is at a very high level. That’s why you need written safety protocols to inform the people about taking necessary precautions.
This document will serve as a step-by-step guide for safety. Besides, people in the company will have a constant reminder of how to prioritize their well-being.
Effectively written protocols are important for several reasons:
- Minimize workplace injuries
- Reduce the severity of injuries
- Provide employees with the knowledge and skills to avoid potential accidents
- Improve safety communication
- Protect the company from lawsuits and liabilities
7 Essential Steps to Writing Workplace Safety Protocols
How you express yourself in writing will have a direct effect on how well these rules are understood and executed. For that reason, you want to keep in mind the following writing tips.
1. Be clear and direct
The clarity and comprehension influence whether the procedures will be properly followed. Therefore, you should aim to keep your writing simple, clear, and precise.
Write the procedures or instructions as actions. Use active voice to simplify your writing. For example:
Wear safety goggles instead of You should wear safety goggles.
Using commands will place the focus on the action. Furthermore, it will give the document a more authoritative tone and voice.
2. Comply with and refer to relevant standards
When writing workplace safety protocols, you should keep in mind the standards of:
- OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
- Other governing body standards
Revise their rules and standards as they can help you leverage your protocols. Employers and employees will have a better understanding of the relevance of issued safety actions if you write that OSHA or a certain governing body requiring the same measures.
3. Evaluate and address all safety hazards
Safety hazards can differ depending on the workplace, so you should outline those which apply to your work environment.
You can consider the common safety hazards and address those that can potentially put employers and employees at risk. The most common industrial safety hazards are:
- Forklift accidents
- Fire outbreaks
- Accidental slips and falls
- Accidental machine start-ups
- Chemical accidents
However, if you work in an office, you should consider addressing the following common office safety hazards:
- Ergonomic strains
- Eye strains
- Poor air quality
- Fire outbreaks
- Exposure to chemical and biological hazards
Make sure that you don’t overlook an important issue by consulting with employers, managers, and employees. They can let you know about the safety concerns from the perspective of their workplace.
You should evaluate all potential risks, assess them, and then choose which ones must be addressed in the written form.
4. Create a safety protocols checklist
A checklist can make the protocols more readable and digestible. Big blocks of text aren’t skimmable, meaning that it is difficult to revise them rapidly. Writing workplace safety protocols in a list form can help employees memorize the rules easier as well as get a quick reminder when needed.
Let’s take as example safety protocols designed to prevent accidental slips and falls. Here’s how your list of protocols can look like:
- When cleaning, put up slip signs.
- Properly clean spills immediately.
- Cover or safely put away cables and cords that can cause trips and falls.
- Keep the laces tied.
- Close cabinets’ doors and drawers the moment you finish using them.
- Place warning signs in hazardous areas (such as uneven ground)
- Ensure secure placement of handrails alongside stairs.
- Provide proper lighting.
Include both employers’ and employees’ responsibilities in the list to create a safe and secure work environment for everyone.
5. Explain why the work must be done in a certain way
Help people understand why these protocols are issues. When they know the aftermath of not complying with the rules, the stakes will be higher.
A brief explanation following the protocol can go a long way. For example:
Handle garbage safely to prevent contact with sharp objects and other improper items discarded in the waste.
If you need help with the explanation text, you can ask the help of professional writers, who offer blogpost writing.
6. Clarify the importance of respecting safety protocols
Everyone must be on the same page when it comes to the importance of respecting the written workplace safety protocols. The only way to clarify this is to write it down.
Issue statements that explain how health and safety will not be sacrificed for anyone. Be absolutely clear that the company has zero tolerance for unsafe behavior and not respecting the set rules.
7. Update the protocols when needed
Innovation within companies is a given. The job functions and business activities can change, and safety protocols must align with them.
Whenever there is a change that demands adding a new safety protocol, review your writing. Update the document regularly and rapidly, leaving no room for accidents to arise due to lack of knowledge or skills.
Workplace protocols have an important role within any company. If they are well-written, comprehensive, and detailed, the risks can reduce and the number of injuries will lower. Therefore, you should take these steps to make sure that your written workplace safety protocols will serve their purpose successfully.