Creating a safe workplace environment begins with a functional objective. A general safety objective might be “to protect workers by identifying hazards, eliminating or reducing risks, and implementing safe working procedures.” Break it down into actionable steps to make workplace safety a part of your business’s culture.
Know Your Regulations
Each industry faces unique challenges. Physical laborers suffer more acute injuries. Occupations in an office or healthcare environment might bring ergonomic strains or musculoskeletal disorders. Jobs in chemical, oil, and gas face toxicity challenges. You must identify industries related to yours, learn about related incidents, and then conclude which, if any, federal regulations will govern your company’s safety and health practices. Read more here to consider a degree in safety to become an expert in educating your employees, complying with regulations, and enforcing company policy.
Assess the Hazards
Next, conduct a worksite analysis. To start, focus on common hazards. Some of the greatest workplace injuries come from electric shocks, slips, trips, and falls, sprains, strains, and tears, and back injuries. Let these be a focal point as you walk around and assess the environment. You should control each area of the workplace where known hazards exist. Also, supply each with an easily accessible Job Safety Analysis which informs workers of proper procedures that will reduce their risk of injury or harm.
Talk to Your People
Don’t neglect the significant step of interviewing workers who actually perform potentially dangerous jobs. Not only does an open line of communication encourage a culture of safety, but it also provides you with the first-person perspective of the job’s challenges. You should also observe workers as they do the job and notice any maneuvers or processes that need improvement. Talking with workers will also give you the opportunity to learn what their attitudes regarding safety are.
Train New Ideas
Get all of your employees on the same page as management. Make it clear with a written plan and set procedures that safety is management’s priority. Workers may need training in the use of personal protective equipment or new procedures in maintenance or recordkeeping. When training is needed, use concepts in adult learning theory to deliver relevant information.
Cultivating a safe workplace environment will not happen overnight. However, taking the proper actions can set you on the path that will make it inevitable. Above all, get feedback from your team so that you all can benefit from a continuously improving safety culture.