It's the Right Time For Safety!
For many of us, our workplace has been at home for almost a year now. You may have a strong opinion, either loving the flexibility and lack of commute or missing the structure of an office environment and the personal connection to coworkers. If your company is talking about transition back to the office, the reality may be starting to sink in and you may be presented with some big decisions.
Whether you are a business owner, facilities manager, or a returning worker, you are about to enter a period of time where you will be presented with a golden opportunity to establish new policies, set new routines and break old habits that will be to everyone’s benefit. As humans, when we are in a time of transition, our brains are open to learning new skills, we are receptive to training and willing to take advantage of this fresh start to make improvements.
Think about those first few weeks when you started a new job and the flurry of activities that occurred. You likely had to establish a new morning routine, you met new people, participated in some type of onboarding process, and learned new skills. All of this was necessary because you were in transition and your brain said, “bring it on, I am ready and excited to learn something new.” This same event will occur when you return to the office, even if its to the same job at the same desk. There will be an element of newness to everything and once again, your brain will be excited and ready to do it all over again.
As a business owner or facilities manager, now is the time to evaluate your physical workspaces as well as your process and procedures. Obviously, you will be implementing new process’ for mitigating COVID-19 risk to workers and following CDC guidelines, but you can do so much more right now. There is no better time to look at your safety procedures for your facilities and updating them as needed and implementing training programs to educate employees. Remember, their brains are ready for this as they return to the office and, your workers want to know you are putting their safety and wellbeing as a top priority.
I had not thought much about this until I attended a recent webinar with Bo Mitchell with 911Consulting and then had a subsequent call with him. While I am a former facilities manager, that was many years ago. We had solid safety procedures for typical office environment hazards such as fire, health emergencies, storms and power outages, temperate control failures, break-ins, etc. As a team, we knew what to do but times were different then. We also didn’t do much about training employees outside of our immediate facilities team as to what to look for and how to take action. Now, business owners and facilities managers are faced with these same problems but so much more is on their minds such as cyber security, workplace violence, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge that these types of serious emergencies can occur and we often think it won’t happen to us, but it could. Bo really opened my eyes to the importance of taking these steps now before you catch yourself unprepared.
A comprehensive safety plan also should include addressing ergonomics in your workplace. Improper furniture and technology set-ups and lack of training and resources can directly lead to employee discomfort and fatigue which can sometimes escalate into workers compensation claims. These claims can be costly to your business and disruptive to the lives of your most important asset, your employees. Establishing a process to address ergonomics is the first and most important step to avoid risk, is easier than you think and can start with a simple training program and grow as needed. A return to the office is the perfect time for an employee to establish new habits like good ergonomics. I was pleased to see that Mr. Mitchell included ergonomic awareness and training as part of his safety protocol.
At Be Well Ergo, we can assist you with developing and executing a corporate training program for ergonomics and can also address the individual needs of your employees with customized workstation assessments and consulting. You can reach us at www.bewellergo.com or call us at 267.221.3118 to discuss how we can help your employees Be Well. If you are interested in a more comprehensive approach to overall safety and emergency preparedness of your business, building and employees please contact Bo Mitchell at 911Consulting at www.911consulting.net or call him at 203.563.9999.
Be Well Ergo is not affiliated with 911Consulting but we were impressed with their service offering, unique expertise and depth of knowledge and think you will be too.
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