The journey to creating a safe and healthy workplace begins with a single step. Of course, there will be a lot of steps that come after that. But creating safety and health programs for the workplace can be a long and challenging journey for most companies.
It takes a long-term commitment and a willingness to make constant adjustments and improvements. However, you have to get started somewhere, which is why we wanted to share some of the best practices for creating a workplace safety program that can ultimately pay dividends in the long run if it’s done right.
Make Safety a Priority
No workplace safety program is going to be a worthwhile endeavor unless the company commits to it. Safety and health programs are not something that can be done in a half-hearted manner. They need to be prioritized over everything else, including productivity and profits. The only way to make this happen is for the people at the top of the company to send the message through both words and actions that safety is the top priority. Over time, this will manifest in many ways. But it starts with company leaders telling every employee that their health and safety matters more than anything else.
Create a System of Inspecting and Reporting
The first step in establishing safety as a priority is identifying all workplace hazards so that the risk each one poses can be mitigated as much as possible. This begins with regular inspections and self-audits that seek to locate anything that could cause harm to an employee. However, safety and health programs also need an avenue for employees to report hazards they spot and concerns they have. After all, their health is the most important thing, which means they need to be able to report when they don’t feel safe.
Consult with Employees
Regular communication with employees might be the most important factor in workplace safety. Before safety guidelines are established or changed, workers on the frontlines need to be consulted. They usually have the best insight and will know what methods will work and what methods won’t work. Equally important, those lines of communication need to remain open. There should be daily discussions and consultations between company leaders and frontline workers. Not only will this be helpful in implementing the best safety and health programs, but it will also make employees feel like their input is valued and reinforce that safety is being made a priority.
Train and Re-Train Employees
Even if you do everything else right, a workplace safety program will be a failure if you can’t effectively train employees to perform work safely and follow different safety protocols. This is why successful safety and health programs put a huge emphasis on training and re-training workers. Safety training shouldn’t be something that happens on the first day of work or when OSHA regulations require it. Eliminating workplace accidents and injuries will require regular training sessions in which employees receive refresher courses on the material they should already know. This is the best way to get the point across and prevent workers from becoming complacent when it comes to safety procedures. The more training employees go through, the better they’ll be at their job and the fewer mistakes they’ll make.
Start with the Right Partner
One of the first steps you should take when establishing a safety and health program is finding the right partner. At EHS Insight, our safety management system can play a critical role in covering the basics of workplace safety, including audits, safety reports, hazard identification, and compliance. It’s a proven method of making safety and health programs more organized and easy to manage.
If you need help getting your workplace safety program off the ground, give us a call because we’d be happy to be your partner on this journey.