Feeling safe at work should be a must! Workplace safety “refers to the working environment at a company and encompasses all factors that impact safety, health and well-being of employees.” For both building owners and tenants, safety should be of the utmost importance. But how can you be sure that this is true?
In commercial spaces, sometimes this can, unfortunately, end up lower on the priority list. Let’s be sure this isn’t the case! Of course, no one wants for it to happen, but it’s best to be prepared for the worst of scenarios. Here are some helpful tips for workplace safety.
When talking about workplace safety, a critical aspect to consider is people. As a building owner, it is absolutely crucial to find tenants that will respect the workplace. Because your tenants will be in the space without your supervision, you need to trust them. So, do your due diligence and make sure your tenant is trustworthy and ask your broker for their opinion about the tenant. Experienced brokers have seen it all, and they can give some insight on if they think a company would be a good tenant.
On the other hand, as a tenant, be sure you find employees who will respect the space as much as you. After a few years in a space, a bit of wear and tear is normal. But, employees need to understand your company is leasing the space and help you by keeping the space in order.
When an area is dirty, more germs and dust can be in the air. This can be harmful to the occupants. This can create a stuffy environment that may be hard to concentrate in and can increase illnesses. So, as a building owner, it's important to either hire a cleaning crew, or require your tenants to clean their space themselves.
As a tenant, we recommend adding hand sanitizing stations around the office, warehouse or mixed-use space. Right now, germs are definitely a top concern for employees who come to work. So, having hand sanitizer readily available can be a great workplace safety precaution. Also, making sure soap dispensers are always filled is important as well.
When an area is cluttered, it is more likely that someone will trip or injure themselves. With injury comes complications (like lawsuits!), so it is important to maintain clear pathways. Stowaway any unnecessary items and provide employees with the proper workspaces.
Pro tip: Clean as you go! Whether it’s another day at the office, or the floor is being remodeled, never leave the clean-up for just the end. By maintaining it throughout the day or project, you are ensuring that it will never get out of hand. This provides safety for everyone that is occupying the space.
Depending on the role and industry, an employee may be required to operate tools or equipment. They should be provided proper training for all aspects of their job, but it is crucial for them to be comfortable using the equipment. This can help maintain a safe workplace. As a tenant, use this opportunity to give the employees proper training. It can help deem the workplace as a safe one and avoid any troubles. Other employees will also feel safer knowing that their colleagues are properly managing their equipment. This is only half of the battle, though. Employees need to be sure they are using the correct equipment for the job. If they need a tool that they don’t have access to, effectively communicating this to their managers can help. No employee should be asked to complete a task without the proper resources. It not only creates tension but can make an unsafe environment.
As a building owner, specifically for warehouses and mixed-use spaces, it may be in your interest to make sure any equipment is properly functioning. Even if your tenants have proper training, broken equipment can cause significant injuries. So, before switching tenants, consider getting an inspection done on any equipment you have in your space. Whether this be an automatic garage door or production line equipment, make sure it's safe for your tenants.
Fire drills seem to always come at the most inconvenient of times. Right before that important meeting, while you settle in after lunch, or as you make that extra cup of coffee midday. Still, these are the simple procedures that can really make a difference when it comes to safety in a corporate building.
Unfortunately, a fire can start in an instant, and completely inhibit the safety of employees. Buildings should be up to code and inspected by fire safety professionals frequently. As a building owner, this is a highly important task for you. If your building doesn't have the necessary number of fire exits or there are fire hazards, you may be putting your tenants at risk. So, contact a fire safety professional to inspect your property as often as necessary. We recommend making sure they are certified by the National Fire Protection Association before hiring them.
There is definitely a lot to consider when it comes to workplace safety. In this instance, it is best to be over-prepared. Safety is never a joke and isn’t something that should be taken lightly. In commercial spaces, a lot can go wrong. By following these tips and creating a plan to make sure everyone is on board, whether they be your employees or your tenants, will keep people safe.