Safety should be of the utmost importance for all employers and employees. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) works to establish safety across every industry in the United States. On top of the routine OSHA standards, employers can take additional steps to create a workplace that values employee health and safety. If you want to know how to make your workplace a better place, keep reading to learn more about the 5 steps to a safer workplace.
1. Establish Management’s Commitment to a Safer Workplace
Workplace accidents and injuries can be devasting for employees. For employers, on-the-job injuries can lead to a loss of morale, increased litigation, and significant financial repercussions. This is why the first step to creating a safer workplace is employer buy-in. Culture starts at the top, and if management is consistently committed to safety, the employees will follow suit.
A safer workplace has many benefits for employers. First, decreasing the number of on-the-job injuries also leads to a decrease in worker’s compensation costs. Workplace injuries and illnesses can have a serious negative effect on productivity. By creating a safer workplace, employers can show their employees that they are valued and appreciated, thus boosting morale and productivity!
2. Engage Your Employees in Developing Safety Protocols
All employees should feel empowered to create a safer, healthier workplace. Involve them in planning and implementing safety protocols. Your employees are on the front lines of the job, so they know where the hazards are. Employees can identify areas of concern that management may overlook. Additionally, employees are more likely to adhere to protocols and procedures that they took part in creating. This will help to ensure that your company does not just have policies but that those policies are followed and enforced.
3. Provide Clear Safety Training
Safety training is essential to establishing a safer workplace. For employees to correctly assess and handle worksite hazards and remove threats to safety, everyone, including management, must be involved in proper safety training. Safety training allows employees to ask questions and gain clarification on safety protocols before they are on the job. Safety training should include instructions on how to operate equipment, move about the workplace, and maintain machinery and personal protective equipment (PPE). Properly label all machinery with the appropriate safety precautions to remind employees of safety procedures. Employers should also conduct routine follow-up training to make sure that every employee remembers the safety procedures. Reviewing safety protocols also shows the employer’s commitment to creating a safer workplace.
4. Create a Culture of Safety
Making safety a regular part of workplace conversation, apart from official safety meetings and training, is a great way to create a safer workplace. Employers should demonstrate and build trust, respect, and inclusion by creating a safety program. These values will create a solid foundation for a culture of safety. Additionally, consistently following safety procedures as an employer will cause employees to follow them as well. A culture of safety will help to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses.
5. Hold Employees Accountable for Upholding Safety Protocol
There are many ways to hold employees accountable for upholding safety standards and protocols. Define safety roles and responsibilities for all employees. This makes safety a clear priority and defines what safety means for each employee.
One way to hold employees accountable is through a reward system. Though controversial, safety incentive programs can positively reinforce safety policies and reduce injuries and accidents in the workplace. One study conducted in 2010 showed that construction worksites that implemented a safety incentive program saw a 44.16% reduction in the mean lost-time workday injury rate. OSHA does allow for safety incentive programs as long as employers do not discourage employees from reporting accidents and hazards in the workplace.
Another great way to create a safer workplace is by working with an Occupational Health Provider, like Work Health Solutions, to create a health and safety plan. Work Health Solutions offers a wide variety of occupational healthcare, including health monitoring, vaccinations, and workplace wellness plans.
How Can We Help?
Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs, including injury prevention. Our qualified team treats patients and employers alike and always provides top-quality service. Our quality service is backed by years of experience working with academic and research institutions, corporate healthcare, Fortune 25 companies, small governments, and local businesses. Reach out today with any questions you may have about how we can assist you!