Prioritizing Workplace Safety: Your Responsibility as an Employer

As an employer, it is your obligation to do everything you can to keep your workers safe. But what does workplace safety look like in practice? Here are a few suggestions.


Workplace safety starts with comprehensive training. Your employees need to know what to do and how to do it safely. Never let someone operate a machine on which they haven’t been properly trained. Set a culture of safety in which everyone feels free to speak up when they see something unsafe. If you do annual performance reviews, take time to re-emphasize safety, and provide refresher training at least twice a year for all employees.


Personal protective equipment (PPE) can take many forms, from safety goggles to earplugs. Know what is required for each position and provide your employees with high-quality equipment that is in good repair. If workers are responsible for providing some of their own equipment, such as steel-toed boots, provide a clear explanation of exactly what to purchase. Be especially diligent during the winter months when slips and falls are more common.

Regular Walkthroughs

Let your employees know that you are serious about workplace safety by performing frequent facility walkthroughs. Look for any safety violations, which could range from unsafe practices to tripping hazards on the floor. Make corrections as you go along. And, of course, never visit the floor without employing proper safety measures yourself. For example, if hard hats or closed-toe shoes are mandatory, make sure you are properly dressed and equipped.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations

Light industrial employers must follow a variety of federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Put together an occupational safety team whose core duty is to keep up with all relevant considerations and ensure that they are being properly followed. This team might consist of HR workers, team members drawn from throughout the company, or even new hires. Either way, make sure they have enough time available to prioritize this important work.

No workplace is 100% safe, and light industrial facilities can pose quite a few hazards. But when everyone works together to promote a culture of workplace safety, you can greatly minimize the risks. Focus on education, empowerment, and avoid toxic work environments, and your team members will follow your lead.


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