Workplace accidents happen every day. Workers are hurt – sometimes severely, in life-changing ways and sometimes causing fatalities. Sadly, most incidents could have been prevented simply by following safety principles and regulations. But it requires more than posting a list of safety guidelines in work areas and listing them in employee handbooks.
The real answer lies in creating and championing a mindset of safety among your employees and making safety everyone’s responsibility.
Conduct semi-annual safety evaluations. Analyze your workplace for existing and potential hazards. Consider the following questions:
- Have we erased acceptable risk from the company vocabulary?
- Does management encourage employees to take responsibility and “do it right” every time?
- Are you passionate about safety and doing your part to reinforce it?
- Do your employees know when to make a “stop work” call and believe they have the authority to do it?
- Are you encouraging staff to report safety risks to upper management without fear of repercussion?
- Do your employees believe that you value their safety over time, money, material goods, and profits?
- Do your words and actions promote an integral safety-conscious culture?
- Is your safety policy straightforward and easy to follow?
- Do you deal with risk-taking and habitual safety issues promptly?
Don’t merely provide safety information, but rather teach it, train it, and require your employees to follow it.
- Lead by example – it’s the best teacher. When management genuinely cares about the safety of their workers and the workers are aware of that, the attitude towards safety will shift to a positive one.
- Reinforce safety guidelines with consistent safety communications, workshops, emails, etc.
- Give employees the right to walk away from a situation where safety protocol isn’t being followed.
- Reward employees and/or teams who maintain and accident-free work zone.
- Reward employees who notice and report a safety hazard.
- If you are using a Temporary agency, those workers must be included in your training program. They must never be asked to do tasks or operate equipmentoutside what they were originally recruited for. You must also keep a log of all of their names documenting that they have gone through safety and procedural training. These are OSHA requirements subject to fines if not completed.
Creating a safety mindset by beginning at the top, encouraging participation, and rewarding a healthy respect for safety may involve costs initially, but it will save you money in the long run. More importantly, it will reduce injuries, and maybe even save a life.
At Action Staffing Group, we have a safety minded culture. Now let us help build yours. We offer training videos and a complete safety and mentoring department. You can depend on us for safety-minded support workers for every staffing need. Contact us today.