HOW TO MAKE YOUR OFFICE THE SAFEST PLACE TO WORK
It’s hard to watch the news these days. It seems like every time a news anchor comes on the screen, she’s announcing a horrible tragedy or terrifying attack that occurred right under our noses. It’s depressing, not to mention scary, but if you’re determined to find a silver lining, the good news is that the emphasis on safety in our country has skyrocketed. When the world seems out of our control, it’s important that we do everything in our power to protect ourselves – at home, in our cars, and especially at work. Increasingly, there are all sorts of new safety measures being introduced such as drug and alcohol testing at work.
Hopefully you feel very safe in your office. If not, don’t panic – you’re in the right place. There are lots of steps you and your organization can take to make your work environment as safe as possible and make sure everyone is prepared in the event of an attack. Read on for some simple strategies you can take to improve safety and reduce stress in the workplace.
Most large organizations have jumped on the identification badge train, and it’s easy to see why. Requiring employees to check in with an ID badge helps regulate who can enter and exit your workspace and even dramatically improve your computer access security. Many ID badges can be connected to a door which scans for verification, so no person is permitted inside of the building without a verified ID Badge. Regardless of which style of ID badge you choose for your company, simply printing badges for every member of your company drastically improves screening and safety procedures. If this seems like a daunting task to you, don’t fret – there are websites like ExpressBadging.com where you can order ID badge printing and cloud identification services online or buy all the necessary equipment to do it “in-house”.
Practicing Safety Procedures
Having a set protocol in place in the event of an emergency can make everyone feel safer and help avoid panic in a potentially dangerous situation. We all remember that episode of The Office when Michael panics during the fire drill.
If there is an immediate threat to people in a building, most organizations will place that building into Lock Down. Many universities, businesses, and even states have their own protocol for Lock Down drills. Ask your employer what the company procedure for Lock Down is. If there isn’t one, see if you can help put a protocol into place. Most Lock Down procedures include the following rules of thumb:
- Lock all doors.
- Barricade entrances.
- Don’t let anyone in or out of the building.
- Stay silent.
- Wait until emergency Office Safety personnel give the “all clear.”
Lock Down procedures look different in different buildings, but those rules are a good place to start. Practicing Lock Down even once every other month will only take a few minutes and help improve the safety at your company.
Keep Safety Top-of-Mind
Keeping the importance of safety at the top of employee’s minds will help you be better prepared in a crisis. You don’t want to be dusting off your floor plan if an emergency arises – you want to have that floor plan memorized, certain of where your nearest exit is. Consider posting signs around your office with safety policies & procedures to keep employees familiar. We cannot always depend on all our colleagues to be high functioning all of the time! Post photos of floor plans in more conspicuous places (inside bathroom stalls works great) and make sure the exits are clearly marked. Encourage safety reminders to be announced at your regular meetings. It might seem a bit overzealous, but you can never be too careful, and simple acts like these can really make a difference.
Hopefully these strategies are already in effect at your workplace. If not, take the initiative! Start a movement in your office to increase safety procedures and awareness. With some simple adjustments to your office protocol, you can really make a difference.
About the Author:
Dennis Rukosuev is an entrepreneur and business consultant from Austin, TX who is helping startups and established companies scale up their businesses and meet the demands of strategic growth and change.