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Building a successful safety program is only half the battle. Once you’ve built a program you can be proud of, you have to make sure it stays that way. As Warren Buffet once quipped, it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it, and the same thing can be said of your safety program.
How do you keep your safety program on track? The basics are often the best place to start. Here’s a quick guide on how to approach workplace safety program maintenance successfully.
First and foremost, your safety program requires a great team at the helm, a team with the right safety skills and right leadership skills.
When selecting a safety team and promoting safety leaders within your team, keep in mind that the best safety professionals lead by example. Rather than setting rules and acting as a police officer, they stop bad situations before they get out of hand and hold themselves equally accountable for the rules.
They’re also not afraid to be a part of the work community. After all, workers are more likely to trust your team (and listen to you) if they feel a genuine connection to you.
That said, you do need to enlist the power of setting expectations. Otherwise, employees won’t know where the hard boundaries are and they won’t know how to stay out of unsafe situations.
Expectations are more than rules. They’re expectations about behavior and safety culture just as much as process rules. They’re the guidelines that tell your employees how to behave.
As with all other aspects of safety, the clearer you are, the better off you’ll be. Don’t be afraid to spell out expectations – be clearer than you think you need to. And don’t shy away from answering questions – the better understanding your workers have, the better chance they have of living up to expectations.
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to take a long, hard look at your program. We’re talking about safety audits.
Safety audits are designed to help you assess the program itself, rather than specific hazards. The idea is to assess your safety goals, how your program is designed to address them, and whether its methods are working. If there’s room for improvement, an audit is a chance for you to learn and get the program back on track.
We know that safety program maintenance is no small task, even for the most experienced safety officer. That’s why we’re here to make it easier for your team.
Our safety software is designed for teams like yours – teams that face challenges head-on, teams that need hard data to generate concrete solutions. You’ll always know where you stand, and you’ll always know your options for addressing the problem.
If you’re ready to change the way your team thinks about safety, we’re ready to change your safety program for the better. Get in touch today to learn more.
Since 2009, the team at EHS Insight have been on a mission to make the world a better place. Join us by subscribing to our Blog and receive updates on what’s new in the world of EHS, our software and other related topics.
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