A Complete Guideline for Developing Safety Programs in Your Workplace
Safety programs are vital to providing responsible management and workforce with a sound, flexible framework for addressing health and safety in the workplace. They are a crucial ingredient for controlling all the hazards hence reducing incidents, injuries and illnesses.
A good safety program demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of an employer in protecting worker health and safety. You’ll also be able to dramatically reduce costs for factors such as retraining and replacement, fines and legal costs, reduced competitiveness, damage to reputation and resulting lost business, lost or delayed production, damage to property, and harm to people.
The following guide contains simple steps for designing and implementing a viable workplace safety program.
Demonstrate Company’s Commitment to Workplace Safety
To establish and embrace a workplace safety culture in your company, you need to spread awareness about its importance and why it’s a company-wide value. You may consider prioritising safety in your mission statement to help reflect the company values in word and action. Besides verbally encouraging your workforce to follow proper safety procedures, pay key attention to each incident at the workplace as part of preventing any similar incidents in the future.
Assess Workplace Risks and Hazards
It’s essential that you assess everyday risks and hazards in your workplace. This should involve both professional and employee assessments. Having a professional do the assessment ensures everything is done right the first time. It’s also important to get employees’ opinions since they work in different conditions every day. They must have noticed the risks that may not be obvious to the untrained eye, especially when using fixed access systems rarely used, such as step units. During the assessment, ensure to create a distinction between environmental (health risks/air quality), workplace (building layout), and activity (machinery-related) hazards.
Create a Written Protocol
Once you’ve completed the assessment, you need to create the guidelines for the safety program and have them in writing. The safety program should exhibit accountability. To achieve this, ensure to have clear employee job descriptions that state specifically their requirements regarding workplace health and safety responsibilities. Written guidelines are essential to greatly reduce the opportunities for ambivalence and misinterpretation.
Embrace Employee Training
At this point, it’s time to get all employees on board. Usually, employee training is usually done when the employee is first hired. However, you should ensure to educate your workforce on any new changes such as upon receiving new equipment, upon noticing new hazards, or after a transfer or promotion.
Implement and Evaluate
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to investigate all workplace incidents regardless of how minor they may seem. Most of the incidents are usually entirely preventable. The investigation should look for the root cause of every incident in order to determine a safer solution to prevent the same incident from happening in the future. While the occurrence of an accident can be unfortunate, they provide a chance for safer working conditions in the future. During the evaluation, consider employee feedback even if it’s anonymous. New safety risks can also present themselves faster than you can realise as workplace duties are always evolving.