When you manage a dynamic workforce with varied job duties, you need to take active steps to promote safety. Thorough training, advisory signage, preemptive precautions, and individual accountability are all foundational elements of a safe working environment. Here are some effective policies that your company should follow in order to promote safety and reduce the risk of accidents.
Provide Extensive and Targeted Training
When new employees start in a position or current employees switch over to a new role, safety training should be the most focal part of your company’s orientation process. While providing written materials and incorporating safety topics into employee handbooks is important and in fact essential, you also need to spend time reviewing the materials with employees in person so you can confirm that they understand all of the relevant information and have an opportunity to ask questions. In-person training should include a presentation that incorporates visual aids and cites practical on-the-job examples. It should be followed up by engaged discussion and time to provide clarification on individual topics if necessary. Emphasizing the importance of specific policies in-person will help them resonate more strongly with your workforce rather than just providing them with written materials that they will have to review independently. Don’t over-generalize safety policies when you present them; make a clear and understandable connection between the policies and their relevance to how individuals perform job tasks or use certain equipment. Everyone has different learning styles, so it’s best to adopt an all-inclusive and thorough approach that allows everyone to absorb information and be ready to put it to practice.
Use Visual Reminders to Encourage Safe Operations
Putting up signage in strategic and conspicuous places can help assure that employees stay conscientious about following safety guidelines. You should put an accident prevention safety poster in places where people will be performing the work that the poster addresses, and you should also consider putting posters where workers spend their time when they’re not occupied by whatever task is at hand such as a break room or hallways. A visual reminder can help reinforce the topics covered during safety training, and it will cause people to be more conscientious about what they do and observe on-the-job.
Everyone should be individually accountable for their own safety, but it’s advisable to delegate responsibility for safety procedures to experienced team members. Their job role should include monitoring conditions in your workplace as well as identifying and addressing any type of condition that appears unsafe. In addition, they should be responsible for intervening when they observe that team members are doing something unsafe, and they should be ready to offer guidance about how to correct what someone is doing wrong. Appointing one or more staff members to oversee safety will actively encourage your workforce to implement all of your company’s safety protocols and significantly help reduce the possibility of an accident or injury.
Make Equipment Maintenance a Priority
When your staff uses any type of equipment or machinery in the performance of their job duties, it’s imperative to make certain that it’s kept in good working order. You have to follow all of the maintenance protocols associated with every piece of equipment or machinery that your staff uses both regularly and occasionally. Assign responsibility for inspection and maintenance, and address problems immediately. If something isn’t working properly, your staff should know to stop using it right away. Don’t put staff in the position of having to use equipment that can create a serious safety hazard.
Managing a safe working environment requires a continuous emphasis on safety, thorough training, adequate supervision, and the proper use of well-maintained equipment. Creating an integrated safety plan that combines all of these elements will reduce your company’s risk exposure while also enhancing operational efficiency. In addition, showing your employees that you care about their safety and make safe practices a central value in your company’s work ethic imparts several important benefits. Your employees will feel better about the work that they’re doing, and they’ll approach it with greater care and confidence. Moreover, you’ll foster a strong and positive company culture. In everything that your staff does to follow key safety guidelines, they’ll collectively sustain your company’s efforts to create a safe and well-managed workplace.