How to Proactively Value Employee Safety

Employee safety is a high priority for many employers, especially companies covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. There are several steps businesses can take to proactively value employee safety. By taking these actions, you can create a safe work environment for your employees and reduce the risk of accidents. Here is our guide to proactively valuing employee safety!
employee safety

Employee safety is a high priority for many employers, especially companies covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. There are several steps businesses can take to proactively value employee safety. By taking these actions, you can create a safe work environment for your employees and reduce the risk of accidents. Here is our guide to proactively valuing employee safety!

What is the Difference Between Proactive and Reactive Safety?

There are two types of safety: proactive and reactive. In the past, reactive safety has been the most common. This is when companies handle accidents after they already happen. With rising worker’s compensation costs and OSHA fines, reactive safety is risky both in terms of finances and employee lives.

Proactive safety seeks to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Proactive safety includes things like safety training, safety procedures, and safety protocols. Because of the unpredictable nature of workplace injuries, safety protocols can decrease the risk of severe injuries and even death. Proactive safety allows employers and employees to be better prepared for accidents by anticipating the risks present in the workplace.

Identify Hazards in the Workplace

Identifying risks and hazards to employee health and safety is the first step to proactively valuing employee safety. Every industry has hazards, but identifying them can be difficult. Look at the worksite holistically and seek out areas for improvement. Walk through the site and assess the types and states of the equipment used, common work practices, and any other potential hazards.

Listen to Employees and Follow Through

Employees are on the front lines of their work. They likely recognize more risks in their workplace than their employers do. Work with your employees to address their safety concerns. Using a complaint box is an effective way to get employee input without making employees feel nervous. It is important to note that by OSHA regulations, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for reporting hazards, injuries, and deaths. Be sure your employees feel safe enough to report hazards to you. 

After employees report hazards, work with them to address these hazards. If possible, remove the hazard from the worksite. If this is not possible, seek out ways to mitigate the effects of the hazard. 

Prioritize Serious Injuries and Fatalities

In 2021, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries reported, which was an 8.9% increase from the previous year. Not all injuries are equal; fatal injuries are detrimental to a company’s reputation, finances, and even existence. Luckily, most hazards that cause fatal injuries can be eliminated from the worksite. If a hazard cannot be eliminated, try to substitute the action or engineer controls to reduce the impact of the hazard on employee safety. The last resort, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety hierarchy of controls, is to provide and require PPE.

Create a Safety Culture

A culture of safety involves directing every action and thought in the workplace toward safety.  Developing a culture of safety takes time and training. Regular and creative training sessions can help solidify safety protocol in the minds of your employees. Safety training provides employees and employers with the tools and skills they need to operate safely in the workplace. Be sure to include thorough safety training and job shadowing as part of your onboarding process for new employees. Additionally, conduct weekly or monthly safety training sessions for current employees. Get creative with these sessions by introducing games, activities, and prizes.

The safety needs of every worksite are different, and identifying and reducing hazards can be difficult and time-consuming. Work Health Solutions can help you create a unique safety plan for your workplace!

How Can We Help?

Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs. 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 about how we can assist you!

Work Health Solutions

Work Health Solutions

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Work Health Solutions is dedicated to preserving a safe work environment and improving existing programs and care for local, regional and national organizations.

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Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Oversaw the regional medical practices in key markets like Oregon and Northern California, ensuring consistent, quality medical care and service delivery.
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership in building and mentoring a large medical provider team, enhancing team performance and patient care standards.
  • Implemented strategic company policies and protocols, significantly improving center efficiency, clinical quality, and patient experiences.
  • Played a pivotal role in financial planning and identifying growth opportunities for healthcare services, contributing to the organization’s overall success.
  • Served as a primary point of contact for regional employer clients and insurance companies, fostering strong relationships and effective communication.
  • Maintained high medical care and case management standards through diligent supervision, chart audits, and performance metric analysis.

Dr. Matt Feeley

Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
  • Served with distinction at NSA Bahrain and HSM-37, earning the COMPACFLT Flight Surgeon of the Year award for exceptional medical service.
  • Supported U.S. Marines VMFA-323 aboard the USS Nimitz, MACG-38, and VMU-3, demonstrating versatility and leadership in diverse medical environments.
  • Broad interests and significant contributions in global health, corporate medicine, and aerospace medicine, highlighting his multidisciplinary approach.
  • Proven track record as a dynamic leader, well-equipped to face the challenges in a fractional medical directorship role with innovative solutions.

Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
  • Specialized in treating occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided medical surveillance and travel medicine consults at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
  • Holds leadership roles as Treasurer and President Elect of the California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses (CECRAOHN), affiliated with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
  • Instrumental in creating an integrated healthcare system at Novartis.
  • Former private practice in internal medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, and Medical Director consultant for GTE Corporation.
  • Transitioned to GE as a Global Medical Director in 2000.
  • Holds a medical degree from Albert Einstein College, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and completed training at Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vagelos School of Medicine, Columbia University.
  • Serves as a team physician for high school athletes in Stamford.
  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.