With new regulations coming from OSHA and the first increase in workplace fatalities since 2010, it is imperative that organizations take the proper steps to keep their employees safe. Safety Directors face increased pressure to maintain compliance, reduce incident rates and ensure employee safety.
Below we have outlined the top 5 challenges facing safety directors today.
1) Changing OSHA Regulations and Fines
OSHA has already made some significant change and plans to incorporate more starting in 2017. August 1st marked the first increase in OSHA maximum penalties with an increase of 78% for both serious and repeated violations. Many employers will be required to submit the summary of injuries and illnesses electronically to OSHA, beginning in 2017, which will be accessible by the public on OSHAs website. These changes make it critical for organizations to maintain an impeccable safety record while making the necessary investments to prevent injuries and protect employees.
2) Overcoming the Safety Plateau
Many organizations have taken measures to lower their incident rates including forming safety committees, performing ongoing safety training and onboarding, studying accidents after they occur and providing the best personal protective equipment. Despite these efforts, incident rates have plateaued and organizations have hit a wall. Incorporating technology and taking a proactive approach to prevent injuries will allow organizations to breakthrough this plateau.
3) Providing Proper Protective Equipment
Ensuring employees have the proper protective equipment can be a challenge for many organizations. Supplying the proper protective equipment means understanding that is not a “one-size” fits all approach. Employees have different needs, and it is imperative that equipment properly fits to adequately protect employees. Finding quality protective equipment at an affordable price presents a challenge for safety departments.
4) Minimizing Exposure to Workers’ Comp
OSHA reports that each year, over 4.1 million American workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness. This shows, that even a robust safety program cannot fully prevent injuries in the workplace. Once an injury occurs, it is important for safety directors to collaborate with HR or claims to limit the impact of a claim. Some strategies to minimize exposure include being proactive, knowing your doctors, bringing employees back to work, monitoring the claim and not letting it get personal.
5) Building a Culture of Safety
Companies understand the need to keep employees safe, and many have taken steps to ensure employee safety. However, many companies have not worked towards building a culture of safety or are unsure of where to start. In a culture of safety, workers are empowered to take action and are responsible for the safety of themselves and their coworkers. They know their leaders understand the value of safety and are committed to providing the necessary resources and investments to achieve positive results. OSHA has reported that developing a strong safety culture has the single greatest impact on accident reduction and should be a top priority. Building a culture of safety will lower accident rates, reduce turn-over and increase productivity.
As we have outlined above, safety directors and safety departments face many challenges.
To help you overcome these challenges, Arbill will be hosting a free event on Friday, October 7th at our headquarters in Philadelphia.
Attendees will get insights on new trends in the safety industry, learn details of new OSHA regulations and hear strategies to minimize exposure to workers’ comp claims. A sneak peek of Arbill’s new innovative software that mitigates risk, anticipates accidents and identifies areas of concern will also be provided along with a free gourmet lunch and a preview of new safety products from top suppliers.
Register today for this educational, informative and fun event!
Have a Safe Day!