So many times, when we think of the word safety, our minds default to an industrial plant setting. But let me ask you a couple of questions.

If the weather radio alerts you of a tornado warning, do your office employees know where to go for shelter? Do you even have a weather radio on at all times? You should.

Or, if there is a fire in your building, do your employees know the quickest way to exit the building and where to gather so that management can account for everyone? The fire department will need to know if someone cannot be accounted for.

Again, in the case of a fire, do you have a method for knowing what visitors are in your offices? I can personally relate to this, since a few years I was visiting a headquarters office in Montreal and was left behind in a conference room during a major drill by the city fire chief. Because my host forgot about me, the business failed the drill, got fined by the city and had to re-do the drill the following week.

Or, if an office employee slips and falls, cutting their knee, can someone easily put their hands on a first-aid kit? Do you even have a first-aid kit and is it regularly checked to make sure it is properly stocked?

Your office employees are just as important to your business as industrial production/maintenance staff.

My biggest suggestion is that you ask a representative group to become an ad-hoc office safety committee and every six months, let them talk about office safety over lunch. Buy them some sub-sandwiches and let them go home an hour early that day so you don't have to pay overtime.

For a very small investment, you will send the proper message to these folks that you care. And, heaven forbid, if you do ever have an emergency, your business will be better prepared to respond appropriately.

Randy Fox, SHRM, SCP, SPHR, is founder and senior partner of Capstone HR Services, Inc.

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