Insurance is one of the biggest expenses companies face, with workers’ comp plans taking up a sizable portion of the budget. In an effort to reduce these costs, it is important to establish a company culture that focuses on workplace safety. Not only does this have an impact on your company finances, but it also prevents reduced production or low company morale due to injuries and incidents involving employees. Establishing a workplace safety program is easy, but most importantly, it is an effective way to protect your employees. Here are five things to do to design a safety program.
Establish a Company-wide Commitment
You can’t have an effective safety program unless everyone in the company is aware of the importance of the steps and on board with the safety practices. It is easy to add words of commitment and priority into the company’s values or mission statement, but this is just the first step. Those in management and those employed need to take these words and put them into action. From training courses to utility products, all decision-making should lead toward the proper implementation of safety procedures and the accountability of each team member.
Conduct an Investigation
To establish an effective plan, you need to understand the risks and hazards of the workplace. There may be a set of industry standards that can guide you, but your specific work environment may have unique exposures that need to be considered. There are several companies that can come in and conduct a safety audit or risk management assessment, and this route may be the most comprehensive in identifying risks. Be sure to include your employees in this part of the process. They work in the environment each day and fully understand or have experience with the risk of the job.
Formalize the Plan
After a complete assessment has taken place of activity hazards, workplace hazards, and environmental hazards, start formalizing the guidelines and expectations of the program. There will be many things that need to be conveyed, but a key priority is establishing personal responsibility among employees for compliance and enforcement. Having clear and complete job descriptions in writing can minimize excuses for misinterpretation or employee ambivalence toward an activity.
Present Education Opportunities
Workplace safety is something that should continually be reviewed and improved upon. Get your employees off to a good start with thorough training on all safety processes, but they need to thoroughly know their tasks as well. There may be specific areas of the job that present more danger than others, and a lack of training could lead to an accident. Conduct refresher training to update employees on any changes or new hazards that have been identified.
Evaluate Your Success
As your safety plan moves into motion, seek feedback from employees, and conduct assessments to evaluate its success. Identify weak areas that need improvement, looking at accident reports for any new information that could spur change. As duties evolve, encourage employees to reach out with questions or comments, even if it means doing so anonymously.
Workplace safety is critical to the health of your company, as it is critical to the health of your employees. These action steps can give your company a safer work environment.