We can all agree that safety in the workplace, specifically a strong culture of workplace safety, is critical for any business in the manufacturing and construction industries. The problem is that a safe workplace is easier said than done. It’s not something that happens overnight; it requires time, dedication, and sometimes help from the outside.
Our advice is to take safety step-by step. Make it a focal point each and every day and slowly but surely you will create a safe work environment for your employees. To be more specific, here are some safety steps that every company can take to improve the culture of safety company-wide.
The first safety step for any company is to identify all of the potential hazards that exist in the workplace. This requires a thorough in-house inspection of every job and task that’s performed onsite. Identify everything that could possibly go wrong or lead to an accident or injury, no matter how big or small. You can’t prevent workplace accidents if you don’t understand the potential causes of them, so knowledge is always the first safety step. However, this should be an ongoing process, meaning employees need to be able to identify and report potential hazards.
Create and Follow Checklists
Using the hazards you’ve identified, the next step is to create checklists of safety protocols. In other words, what is the best way to eliminate or mitigate all of the potential hazards you’ve identified? What do employees need to do in order to perform their jobs safer? The best way to keep people safe is to be meticulous and detail-oriented about everything that happens. This can be accomplished by creating checklists and then following them, no exceptions.
Double-Check Equipment and Machinery
The sad truth about workplace accidents and injuries is that most could have been prevented if employees had the proper safety equipment or were using machines the right way. A key safety step for every company is assessing that every machine is operated safely to perform job duties and checking that employees are wearing the appropriate protective gear. This is a part of a company’s daily operations that should be re-evaluated regularly because it can be so critical in preventing injuries.
Create a Schedule for Safety Meetings and Drills
Training and preparedness are two critical factors in creating a safe workplace. At some point, your next safety step will be creating a schedule for when safety training, safety meetings, and safety drills are conducted. First, employees need to be trained on the safe ways to perform their tasks and the steps they need to take to ensure everyone’s safety. Next, safety meetings will serve as reminders for that training, as well as a progress report for how successful everyone is following safety protocols. Finally, safety drills should be held periodically to make workers more prepared to handle an emergency situation, even if your other safety steps are designed to prevent such occurrences.
Set Goals and Track Progress
One of your last priorities on the safety front should be to set safety goals and track your progress. Obviously, meeting all OSHA regulations should be a goal, but it’s fine to set more ambitious goals or safety goals that are specific to your particular industry. Most employees will respond better to clear objectives, especially if they are challenging but achievable.
It’s equally important that your safety goals can be tracked with data so you know if things are improving and you are meeting your goals. For this, many businesses utilize safety management software that helps organize and manage every aspect of safety within a company. EHS Insight offers software that will aid in compliance, hazard recognition, inspections, safety drills, and more.
If you want to improve safety step by step, the first step is to give us a call and let us get you started on the right track.