In order to create a safe workplace, you should also:
What good is a strategy if no one knows about it? If you want people to work the way you want them to work, you must first tell them what that manner is. A good coach is a competent safety professional. Instead of berating staff, teach them what they’re doing incorrectly and how to do it correctly.
Make yourself available and make it clear that communication is a two-way street. Make it clear to them that you are always available for questions, recommendations, or concerns (but that you also encourage them to follow the right line of command-you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by making supervisors feel you are stepping on their toes).
Cover issues that employees should be aware of, and use that time to poll the staff on how things are doing. Don’t forget to communicate with those higher up the chain. Nothing can backfire more than an executive being caught off guard by a crucial event. Make sure they are aware of any injuries or OSHA inspections.
In the world of OSHA, the phrase “incentive” has virtually become a nasty word, owing to the fact that poorly designed programs can encourage workers to conceal accidents. This not only implies that a worker may not obtain the required medical care that his or her employer’s worker’s compensation policy should cover, but it also skews statistics.
As a result, if you decide to implement a formal incentive program, you should take care to design it in such a way that it does not encourage—and maybe penalize—failure to disclose an injury.
Incentives, on the other hand, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Employees’ health and well-being should be the strongest motivators. Make it clear to them that safety is an essential component of their job, not an optional extra for which they should be rewarded if they perform well. Are they rewarded for arriving on time and dressing appropriately? Are they compensated for completing specified tasks? Yes, it’s called a paycheck. Make sure they understand this because it affects how the workforce sees safety.
Then, throwing them a pizza party or buying them coats (it’s astonishing how far a little food or clothing can go toward gaining goodwill with your staff) is just icing on the cake.
When everything else fails – and it will at times – you must have a disciplinary procedure in place. If you’ve tried everything we’ve outlined up to this point in vain, you’re left with no choice but to discipline them. The policy should be straightforward and consistent. Everything should be documented.
Make it a series of warnings—verbal, written, suspension, and termination. You should, however, give some wiggle room in your plan. You also want to make room for quick, rapid action on more serious infractions.
Because of the nature of the events that can occur as a result of failing to use fall protection, failing to observe the lockout/tagout protocols, or failing to follow proper confined space procedures, several facilities have “zero tolerance” policies in place. The likelihood of one of these instances being severe is considerable.
Whatever you pick, your line management must support and enforce the program. Keep in mind that you are not the safety police. You can’t be everywhere at once, especially if supervision is allowing risky conduct to occur when you’re not looking. You should create the plan and ensure that they are enforcing it with your assistance.
Finally, one of the most essential pieces of instruction I ever received was to laud publicly while punishing privately. Keep in mind that the employees who work for the company are adults. They should never be belittled or berated. Bring them to your office or another private room to discipline them. When you praise them, say it aloud in front of everyone.
After you’ve gotten everything up and running, you must keep the program going. The workforce has been trained, management is on board, and the employees are engaged, yet the workplace is in disarray. Is this really a problem?
Let’s have a look at the various difficulties that might arise as a result of bad housekeeping: fire dangers, environmental hazards, slip, trip, and fall hazards, lacerations, puncture wounds, impalement hazards, and so on.
It’s not just about making it appear great (though it certainly helps-if a compliance inspector walks in to check a facility, they will surely receive an immediate opinion of the facility and can establish the tone of the inspection based on the facility’s housekeeping).
Assign individuals to clean up work spaces, rotate this job among employees, and ensure they understand why it is vital to clean up after themselves. Furthermore, having a sense of pride in your employment is beneficial.
Sometimes you build up your program so well that it runs flawlessly for extended periods of time. While this is a fantastic achievement, it may also be a dangerous trap. Employees who do the same thing every day and haven’t experienced any safety difficulties along the way can get complacent. They switch to autopilot mode.
Have you ever gotten into your car to drive to work and realized you’re halfway there but can’t remember anything about your journey?That’s your brain working on autopilot. It’s terrifying to think that you traveled for miles and miles with no recollection of what happened. Similarly, a person can operate a machine for hours without stopping to think about what he or she is doing.
This permits individuals to make mistakes because their minds have strayed, or worse, they can get so comfortable with what they do that they believe they can build unsafe shortcuts. Task rotation is a wonderful method to avoid this, but merely reminding employees not to be complacent helps bring it to the forefront.
Keep your eyes peeled for it. Encourage employees to be on the lookout for complacency in one another by emphasizing that they can be damaged by a coworker who is not paying attention.
A safe workplace is one that has a strong safety culture. A machine is only as dangerous as the person who operates it. It would be like swimming upstream to try to develop a safe work environment by focusing on one technological area or another. Instead, concentrate on these ten main topics. Controlling them will make the rest of your task much easier.