All businesses have an obligation to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for employees. But that doesn’t mean they can neglect the safety and well-being of field employees who work offsite.
Naturally, safety for field employees can be a little more complicated than on-site employees. If you’re in charge of workplace safety, how do you interact with field employees in regards to safety? Well, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to address safety concerns for employees who work in the field.
Identify Risks and Who’s at Risk
This should be one of the first steps toward workplace safety in any setting, but it’s important not to overlook it with field employees. Needless to say, the potential hazards and risks aren’t as easy to control when working in remote locations. This makes it all the more important to create a comprehensive list of what field workers are at risk of what potential hazards. Doing this will let you know what employees face the biggest risks and whether or not their job duties are worth the risk. Plus, it’s impossible to do anything to mitigate risks for field workers if you don’t know the potential dangers.
Provide Proper PPE
Again, this is the same for onsite employees but it takes on even more importance for remote workers. This is why identifying and assessing risks is critical because otherwise, you won’t know what personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed. It’s also good to remember that field employees don’t always have a supervisor nearby to remind them about wearing PPE. This means that supervisors need to pay extra attention to make sure workers have the right PPE before they go into the field. The same logic applies to making sure field employees have been properly trained to use various forms of PPE and what situations call for different protective equipment.
It never hurts to provide extra training to any employee, although field workers need refreshing a little more frequently. As mentioned, they don’t have a manager or supervisor watching behind them. If a field employee develops a bad habit that’s unsafe, it can be hard to identify and hard to break. To combat this, offer frequent safety training to field employees that’s relevant to the jobs they’re performing in the field. If someone is on their own in the field, it becomes even more critical to remind them of the proper and safe way to do things.
Communicate with a Safety Leader
For employees who operate on their own in the field, communication is critical to safety. Safety leaders and supervisors should have frequent and scheduled check-ins with field employees to check that they are safe and unharmed. The frequency of these will depend on the seriousness of the potential hazards and risks. But there should always be someone checking up on remote employees and also asking them about any concerns they might have to make sure that they always feel safe while working.
Review Safety Reports
It’s usually a good idea for field employees to fill out safety reports regularly as a way to assess their situation. For managers and supervisors, this is another good way to communicate with field workers about safety issues. It’s all about asking the right questions and listening to their feedback. If the employee mentions close calls, safety concerns, or not feeling fully protected in any way, those are things that need to be corrected right away. By having the employee fill out safety reports that are reviewed by company leaders, any small problems can be solved before they become a big deal.
Connect Employees to Safety Software
Whether they are field workers or not, the best way to promote workplace safety is with the right safety management software. The system created by EHS Insight can get every employee operating on the same platform, making it easier to report potential hazards and communicate with employees. Our system also helps to connect training, compliance, and all other factors related to safety, leaving no stone unturned.
If you’re ready to improve employee safety in a meaningful way, get in touch with us anytime. Our software can be installed in no time, helping you create a safer work environment.