To make sure your workers go home safely after every shift, you need more than just safety supplies. You need to develop and build a culture of safety within your organization and make safety a top priority.
The foundation of any successful workplace safety effort is one that encourages employees to take ownership of the safety program, by identifying unsafe behaviors or equipment and alerting management of areas for improvement. Employers must make similar commitments by investing in the best equipment, training and technology to make their workplaces as safe as possible.
Below we have outlined ten workplace safety tips that every employer should know.
1) Involve Employees in Safety Planning
Empower your workers to “own” safety by involving them in the safety planning process. Encourage and champion “safety leaders” in your organization who will be responsible for safety initiatives in addition to their regular responsibilities. The more an employee understands and takes ownership of your safety initiatives the more he/she will take action.
2) Provide Clear Work and Training Instructions
Make sure that all work and training instructions are clearly outlined and understood. Provide clear written instructions and check with employees before they begin using equipment or performing tasks for the first time. Ensure that workers know what they are being asked to do and if necessary, provide instructions in other languages besides English.
3) Focus Your Safety Efforts on the Most Likely Issues
Emergency and disaster preparedness is an important part of your safety program, and you should have a plan in place for such incidents. While these events can prove costly, they rarely occur. You should focus your efforts on eliminating and identifying the smaller safety violations that contribute to the most frequent injuries such as falls, tripping, slipping and others.
4) Maintain a Clean and Safe Work Area
To help prevent injuries and incidents in your workplace get rid of clutter and other potential issues. Clear boxes or tools from stairwells, clean up any leaks or spills and remove tripping hazards such as electrical cords or frayed carpets. Clearing potential dangers and ensuring a safe work area is an important step you can take to prevent injuries.
5) Encourage Employees to Have a Voice in Safety
Make it clear that employees are encouraged to bring any safety concerns or new ideas they have to management’s attention. This collaborative approach will help employees take ownership of safety and this will also ensure you are in compliance with the proposed new record keeping rules from OSHA.
6) Review Employee Performance
Keep a close eye on those employees who may be taking shortcuts or not performing their jobs correctly. Review and keep track of employee attendance, missed training or other issues and intervene when necessary. Highlight those who are performing their work properly or who have made a marked improvement, and use them as an example for the other staff.
7) Maintain all Machinery in Safe Working Order
Develop and implement a routine maintenance program for the machinery in your workplace. Ensure machines are working properly and that the correct signage and instructions are clearly marked. Check that machine guards and other precautionary measures are functioning properly.
8) Invest in the Proper Personal Protective Equipment
Each employee and job function requires different types of personal protective equipment. You should work with your staff to determine what equipment they need and the correct sizes and level of protection for each employee. You should not take a one-size fits all approach, nor should you forgo quality for the sake of saving a few cents.
9) Include Safety Training in Your Program
Proper safety training is an essential component of any safety program. Proper EH&S training can have a positive impact on your bottom line by reducing insurance premiums, lowering workers’ compensation rates and ensures compliance with OSHA, DOT and EPA regulations. You should review your needs and determine what type of training (on-site, online or a customized program) would be best for your employees.
10) Revisit Your Safety Guidelines Every Year
Start off each year with an inspection/assessment of your workplace or facility. This review can help you identify any deficiencies or out-of-date equipment that may cause an issue. You also get the opportunity to see if any policies or guidelines are out of date or need to be amended based on changing conditions in your workplace or industry.
As we have outlined above, there are many steps you need to consider to ensure the safety of your employees. Arbill offers a wide range of resources and services to help you build a culture of safety within your organization.
With this commitment to workplace safety in mind, Arbill is hosting a free event on Friday, October 7th, at our headquarters in Philadelphia. Our guest speakers will offer insights on new safety trends, provide an overview of OSHA updates, give strategies to minimize exposure to workers’ comp claims and reveal an innovative new technology that will help you take a proactive approach to preventing injuries in your workplace.
Register today for this informative event.
Have a Safe Day!