One of your primary responsibilities as an employer is to ensure the safety of your workers. Most of the injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace could have been prevented, and a company safety program is an essential key to improving your work environment and protecting your employees.
Your company is unique, so your safety system will have to be designed to reflect the type of work you’re doing. If you have is a small business with few risks, your program will be simple. If you’re running a business in a hazardous industry, however, you might have reams of policies and procedures, and you’ll probably employ a full-time director of safety.
It’s essential that your safety program works for your business. Here are some thoughts and suggestions for creating a successful one:
What defines an effective safety program?
If your program is going to help protect your workers, it should contain the following elements:
- Managers who are dedicated to making the safety system work
- Workers who are involved in the process
- Proper training on safe work procedures
- Compliance with OSHA regulations
- A system that identifies and controls all hazards
- Cooperation and communication in an environment that promotes safety
- Continuous improvement
Look at your safety program and determine if it has all the above traits. If you are weak in any areas, here are a few tips to strengthen them:
Emphasize the organization’s commitment to safety. Inform your workers that you expect them to follow safe work practices, and make sure your managers are setting a good example by following them, too.
Involve your employees in the program. Your team has a stake in the success of the program, so make sure everyone is doing their part to make it work. Since your workers understand the safety issues of their jobs better than anyone, listen to their feedback and solicit input from them.
Train your employees. Give your personnel training on the specific hazards associated with their jobs and keep all records of any safety training for easy reference and reminders.
Understand the OSHA regulations. Study and comprehend all the OSHA regulations that apply to your workplace.
Recognize the hazards and control them. Look at the records of accidents, injuries and close calls. Review the OSHA logs, workers' compensation reports and all complaints. Talk to your workers. You can’t control the hazards until you identify them.
Create a culture of safety. Ensure your workers hold safety as a value and that there is effective communication between management and employees. Support an environment in which you respond to the safety concerns of your workers, and they trust you while making safety their priority.
Keep improving the program. Review your system regularly and make changes to the program as needed.
Need more suggestions on keeping your people safe?
We can help. We will also assist you in finding new team members. United Personnel has been providing staffing solutions to Western Massachusetts and beyond for over 30 years. We will use our experience and expertise to help you get a strong team on board. Contact us today, and we’ll get started!