Note: This part of a series of stories aimed at encouraging businesses to think proactively about safety.
Safety is the responsibility of everyone within a company.
While management sets safety policies and procedures, it’s up to employees to keep safe themselves and others around them by following those protocols.
Management and employees working in tandem leads to lower instances of workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims and ultimately fosters a top-to-bottom culture of safety.
A previous Syndeo blog defined what is a culture of safety.
Another outlined the role senior leaders/ownership plays in nurturing a safety culture in places of employment.
The following are strategy and implementation steps for employees.
Team members play a key role in worksite safety and should be encouraged and expected in many cases to be involved with processes to improve safety. Examples include helping train new employees on a company’s safety procedures and holding others accountable for not performing job functions in a safe manner.
Often, these efforts are aided by the appointment of a safety champion or champions.
A safety champion encourages ownership of safety within an organization, instills a sense of pride and responsibility for ensuring the safety of others and empowers workers to be heard.
The safety coordinator also serves as a liaison among and between front-line employees and management and assists with relaying information across departments about potential safety hazards or policy changes.
Safety training should be extended to all employees but is especially important for new hires, people moving into a new department, those who work in high risk positions and workers whose jobs require them to wear personal protective equipment. Managers, supervisors and administrative employees also should be included with the training.
A safety coordinator can assist with training scheduling.
Training for managers and supervisors should emphasize their roles in supporting safety standards. These individuals need to be trained in hazard detection and control, accident investigation, handling emergency situations and how to train and reinforce training.
Feedback from team members helps identify strengths and weakness of safety programs as well as what is working and what isn’t.
The goal with all of this is to minimize – if not eliminate all together – safety incidents and the severity of them.
Companies need to adopt a safety culture that is proactive and includes strategic planning and action. Strategies should encourage people at all levels of a company to find and correct safety hazards.
Remember, safety practices don’t have to be complicated to be successful.
Safety should be a part of a company’s values, even as priorities change. That can bring about a culture change and help decrease incidents, and injuries, reduce costs, improve regulatory compliance and enhance a company’s overall business operation.
Contact Syndeo for more information and assistance with setting up safety audits and training. We can help your company implement a culture of safety and stick to it.
~Josh Heck, Marketing Manager Syndeo
~Contributing, Michelle Cadena, Risk Manager Syndeo