Prevention Is Better than Reaction – Emily Wilson

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When it comes to health, it’s all about prevention. Regular checks at your doctor, healthy lifestyle and proper diet are all part of that prevention. However, this is not only an individual responsibility but something that concerns all of us as a community.

As an employer, you have a unique opportunity to create awareness about the importance of healthcare by organizing first aid course for your employees. A timely reaction in cases of health emergencies can save a person’s life and that is something that needs to be acknowledged. No matter what type of business you run, injuries and emergencies will happen, so every company should invest in the basic care before EMT arrives.

1.   Become occupational health and safety compliant

The occupational health and safety laws and regulation require that every employee is fulfilling its duties and responsibilities. This means that they actively care for the safe work environment and do everything they can to implement safety management.

Occupational health and safety compliance includes training of employees to recognize the emergency situations and react accordingly. It also requires that employees are familiar with the safety protocols and measures at their workplace. Reaction time is one of the most imperative parts of saving someone’s life and that is why it’s important that employees know to recognize the conditions caused by injury or illness.

2.   Care for employees’ health boosts productivity

If you care about your employees’ safety and health, you will decrease the number of sick leaves. Also, it will reduce hospital time and treatment which can prevent an employee to work. All this mean that company’s activity will be affected by any health issues an employee might have that were directly caused by inappropriate workplace safety.

When employees are satisfied with the conditions at work, the productivity will grow. This is because a responsible employee is able to create engaged and loyal employees which will gladly help achieve the company’s goals. Therefore, productivity is one of the benefits of having occupational health and safety measures in place.

3.   Health and safety training will save you money

Injuries at the workplace can cost a company a lot of money in damages, hospital bills and for other expenses that may arise from inappropriate safety. On the other hand, occupational health and safety training programs are not as expensive and are actually cost-effective in the long run. Not to mention litigation costs, legal fines and compensation payments which can be significant for any business.

But there are other costs as well that can create quite a financial damage like attorney fees, loss of productivity and replacement of the indisposed employee. Also, insurance premiums may rise or you may be too risky for an insurance company to sign a contract with you. In the end, you may have to invest some money in training your staff in order to prevent bigger financial losses in the future.

4.   The importance of first aid provision at the workplace

Every employee should undergo the basic first aid training, while some could even undergo advanced seminars and programs. For example, if an employee is having a heart attack, a quick and swift reaction can save their life. Basic knowledge should include CPR, mouth-to-mouth, proper immobilization in case of fall and how to treat the wounds and injuries to skin before the healthcare professionals arrive.

However, there are some additional things every employee should know regarding the safety, like how to handle the fire extinguisher. Also, if the company uses toxic materials and substances, employees should know how to treat the poisonings and injuries from these chemicals. This can prevent further injuries and worsen the already obtained ones.

5.   Make sure your first aid kit is well stocked

Check your first aid kit regularly to replenish the stocks, check expiration dates and make sure it is not damaged. Keep it in the cabinet marked with a red cross which is a universal symbol that marks first aid and health provision. Make sure that employees know where to find the kit and how to access it, as well as how to use the items inside.

Usually, the basic first aid kit contains plasters in different sizes and shapes, sterile gauze dressings, sterile eye dressings, triangular bandages, and safety pins. It will also include sterile gloves, tweezers, and scissors, as well as thermometer, wipes and sticky tape. When it comes to medicine, it can contain antiseptic cream, painkillers like aspirin, cough medicine, antihistamines and mixtures to clean the wounds.

6.   Perform regular safety inspections

Once in a while, as you deem appropriate, perform safety inspections to make sure that everything is in order. If you notice that anything is out of order, immediately start repairs or measures to maintain the utmost workplace safety. Also, check all the exits and make sure they are not blocked and service the devices and equipment when recommended by the manufacturer.

Based on regulations, you are required to perform fire drills which are an excellent way to remind your employees about the procedures and evacuation protocols. Make sure that all fire extinguishers are in order and that water hoses are in place for the immediate reaction. Safety inspections are very important to keep the record of each one you performed and set the reminder to inform you when to conduct the next one.

7.   Organize medical checkups for occupational conditions

Every occupation carries certain health risks that can turn into conditions and diseases. Organizing regular medical checkups for these conditions may prevent their development and mitigate early symptoms. Your employees’ productivity may be considerably affected by these conditions so it is in your best interest to deal with the causes before they create issues.

For example, if your employees spend a lot of time in the sedentary position and on the computer screen, you should organize a mandatory screening at the ophthalmologist and physiologist. Since the nature of their work requires a computer, you can make sure that they don’t suffer the consequences.

Final word

Think about prevention as something that the company and its employees can benefit from. A healthy worker is a satisfied worker who will continue to be a productive member of the working collective. This means that by having in place occupational health and safety measures you will be able to create a positive working environment and decrease your costs.