Businesses have a responsibility to protect the safety of employees. Safety policies are often established by upper management and executed by supervisors. There are a variety of ways that management can help keep employees safe.
Make Safety a Priority
When safety standards are not followed, it is often because management intentionally or unintentionally communicates to employees that some other factor, such as completing a job quickly or cheaply, is more important than completing a job safely. Communicating to workers that safety is the top priority helps ensure that employees follow the safety standards of the company. You can also demonstrate your commitment to safety by actively employing methods to improve safety, such as seeking out a better transportation management system.
Set a Good Example
If management does not follow safety standards, then employees are probably not going to follow them either. Ensure that you always work safely and make safety a regular part of your discussions with employees.
Provide a Reporting System
Employees sometimes fail to report safety violations, injuries, accidents, hazards, illnesses or health concerns because they are afraid they will be punished or retaliated against. Provide an easy and anonymous way for employees to report safety issues.
Your safety standards are only as good as the training you provide your employees. Employees should be trained on what the standards are, how to spot hazards and what to do when safety issues arise.
Do Regular Safety Inspections
One of the best ways to ensure that employees are always following safety standards is to regularly inspect your workplace. Ask employees if they have any concerns about equipment, materials or activities.
The employees who do the work are one of the best sources of ideas on how to make jobs safer. Solicit feedback from employees on safety issues regularly.
Create Emergency Plans
Create emergency plans for common scenarios, such as a fire, tornado or explosion and any hazards that are particular to the type of work performed at your facility. Make sure employees know what to do when an emergency occurs.
Define Safety Goals
Establish specific goals and objectives for supervisors, managers and workers. The goals should be realistic and measurable. They should emphasize preventing injuries and illnesses. Create a plan with specific actions to take to achieve your goals.
Create an estimate of the resources you need to create and implement your safety program. Make sure workers have scheduled time to participate in the program. Include health and safety programs in your budgeting and planning processes. Provide resources for the operation and maintenance of safety programs.
Hold People Accountable
Establish a frontline person or group of people as the leaders of the safety program. These leaders are responsible for making plans, tracking progress and coordinating activities. Regularly communicate and define the authority and responsibility of these leaders and hold them accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities. Provide positive recognition for employees who exceed safety goals.
Make sure your employees have the resources and time to participate in the safety program. Provide employees with an open door policy for discussing safety issues and making suggestions.
Provide Access to Safety Information
Provide workers with safety information, such as safety data sheets, job hazard analysis, equipment manufacturer and chemical safety recommendations, workplace inspection reports, incident investigation reports and injury and illness data. Make sure that workers understand safety and health hazards and what measures they can take to control them. Familiarize yourself with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards and make sure you provide employees with the information required by those standards.
Maintaining workplace safety is beneficial for companies and employees. It helps keep your business compliant with OSHA safety standards, avoids potential workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits and improves employee productivity and morale. Management plays a critical role in establishing safety programs, training employees, assessing compliance and increasing worker participation. When management makes safety a priority, workers do too.