Ensuring your employees are safe at work is an important aspect of running your business. Not only do safety hazards harm employees, but they can open up your business to legal risk. Safety issues and injured employees can also slow down operations and cause a loss of productivity. Develop health and safety guidelines for your business and write a safety memo to employees so they know what to watch out for at work.
Understanding Why a Safety Memo to Employees Is Required
Under the law as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the United States Department of Labor, employers have a responsibility to ensure employees are safe at work. While OSHA outlines a number of specific elements employers need to consider in terms of health and safety, some key points to note are:
- Employers need to ensure workplace conditions abide by OSHA standards.
- Employees are to have tools and training to ensure their safety.
- Employers need to provide signs and other information to warn employees of safety hazards.
- Health and safety training needs to be provided in a language employees can understand.
Knowing this information will help you draft a safety memo to employees that meets OSHA standards.
Gathering the Information to Include in Your Memo
Before you write your sample memo for workplace safety, you need to pinpoint the hazards within your organization. What are some areas where injuries or accidents may take place? What is important for your employees to know and understand before they begin work each day?
Common safety hazards in the workplace include:
- Working at heights, such as on ladders or scaffolding
- Blocked fire exits and emergency exits
- Poor use of electrical cords and extension cords
- Using machinery like forklifts without proper training
- Inappropriate use of chemicals
Once you’ve identified what kind of safety hazards exist in your workplace, it’s time to develop a plan to remove any barriers to safety. Decide how you will solve the problem and what employees can do to ensure their safety.
Writing the Information Clearly and Succinctly
Your safety memo to employees needs to be short, clear and easy to understand. The goal of the memo is to inform employees of the safety hazards and what they can do to ensure the workplace is safe.
Begin your memo with an informative heading, such as “Important Notice for Your Safety.” In the first paragraph, get straight to the point of what is unsafe in your business. For example, if there is too much clutter in front of the emergency exit, making it unusable, you’ll need to inform employees that this area needs to be clear of any barriers.
In your next paragraph, outline the plan for safety. Perhaps you’re going to create a working group to help clean up the emergency exit area so that it is accessible. Next, outline what employees need to do going forward. If they need to ensure they are no longer placing boxes and other items in front of the emergency exit, let them know of an alternative place where they can store the equipment.
How to End the Memo
End the memo by reminding employees of the importance of health and safety in the workplace. Thank them for their cooperation in helping to keep the workplace safe. If you have employees who speak languages other than English, you may need to translate the letter into those languages to ensure your employees understand the issue clearly.
Safety Memo Template
To: All Employees
Important Notice Regarding Your Safety
It has come to my attention that there is an immediate safety hazard in our workplace: [OUTLINE SAFETY HAZARD.]
At [YOUR BUSINESS NAME], we strive to always ensure our employees have a safe area to work. In order to remove the safety hazard, we have developed a plan for our organization. [OUTLINE YOUR PLAN TO REMOVE THE SAFETY HAZARD.]
If you have any questions about safety in the workplace, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You are all valuable members of our team, and I’m dedicated to ensuring your safety. Thank you for your cooperation.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.