Discussing Safety in the Workplace

As a business owner or manager, it’s essential to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.  Not only does a safe workplace enhance overall productivity in the organization, a health and safety program is required under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Steps such as issuing safety manuals and establishing a safety committee will help employees feel more confident and comfortable in their work environment—two of the key motivators for productivity.  Here are a few key ways to improve safety and explanations of why they’re important.

Identify Hazards.

In order to figure out how to implement safety procedures, you must first identify what and where your hazards are.  One way to do this is by reviewing your workers comp claims history.  You’ll be able to identify trends in injuries from these records.  Most machinery and processes only change every 3 to 5 years, so you only need to look that far back at a time.  Analyzing the data by job classification, types of injuries, etc. will allow you to get a clearer picture of where your biggest risks lay.

Form a Safety Committee.

Once you’ve identified what your biggest risks are, form a diverse safety team make up of employees at all levels of the organization.  Have a meeting to discuss risks and suggest ways to prevent accidents from happening.  The team should develop a plan to eliminate or minimize each major risk.  Once a plan is determined, have the safety committee brief the entire organization on their findings.

Provide Training Material.

Proper training is necessary for all employees, to make sure they’re not only aware of the risks, but the proper procedures for avoiding them.  Provide written instructions and distribute safety manuals.  Hang up posters with safety information and post warnings as needed.  Safety manuals will allow employees to check for themselves if they are unsure of how to handle a particular situation.  By not providing the right amounts of training material for your employees, you place their safety in danger and are liable for any consequences should there be an incident.

Have an Ongoing Conversation.

Meet regularly with employees to talk about safety and health issues.  Encourage them to give feedback on current safety processes and let your know what’s working and not working for their department.  For example, a welder is going to have more concerns about electrical and fire hazards than a project manager.  Use these conversations to ensure your staff is fully prepared and equipped to handle an emergency situation.

Investigate Incidents and Keep Records.

Unfortunately accidents happen even under the best safety regulations, so it’s important to investigate when they do.  Even if an accident doesn’t cause seriously injury, an investigation will help to determine why the accident was caused and what steps can be taken to prevent it from happening again.  Make sure you maintain records of all treatment, inspections, and incident reports.  This information will be necessary to help you identify further trends in injuries.

Safety is most effective when handled up front and not as an after-thought.  Start making safety just as important as your customer service and inventory control projects.  Let your good business sense shine by committing to a safe and healthy workplace.  If you’re looking to fill positions with employees that make safety and health a priority, MAC Incorporated is an excellent staffing resource. Our team of recruiters specializes in the placement of engineering, maintenance, and operations management professionals.  Contact us today for more information on how we can help.