Every year at work, hundreds of workers are killed, thousands are severely injured, and tens of thousands suffer some form of injury or illness that disrupts their lives while employers pay millions in fines and increased workers’ compensation costs. And that is just the direct impact of ineffective safety programs. Indirect negative impact on employee morale, turnover, productivity, quality, reputation, and revenue will also occur.
I won’t humor you by saying creating a safe work environment is easy, but it is entirely manageable with an immediate, significant impact. The critical factors – all legally required – are:
1) Formal Training Programs: new employees and more experienced ones need training and awareness before starting any new job or new work location. Responsibility and accountability should be reinforced.
2) Communication and Transparency: employees need to be involved and encouraged in the whole process, from identifying hazards, reporting, and figuring out corrective actions. Strive to hire and retain people committed to safety.
3) Regular Inspections: an ongoing method to prevent incidents by identifying and solving risks to workers, which must include accountability at all levels.
4) Resources: workers need safe, operational equipment, tools, PPE, and supervisor time and attention. Supervisors need senior managers, HR, and facilities to partner as a team, find solutions, enforce compliance, and address consequences.
Whether we are talking about COVID-19 or one of the dozens of other employer regulations, your hard work will pay off with a healthier, stronger organization. Check out the OSHA Quick Start Guide below to get started, or contact our certified Safety Management Specialist, Amy Cann, at firstname.lastname@example.org for consulting support.