Key Safety Management Practices at the Workplace
Protecting your valuable business assets is one of the most important things you can do to ensure long-term success in your business. Therefore, implementing good safety management concepts is vital to the success of your company. Not setting good safety measures in place or failing to follow them could result in injury, death or any number of negative outcomes.
The health and safety of your employees should be at the top of the list of priorities for all companies. According to the United States Department of Labor, nearly 24,000 workers are injured every workday, and there are 85 deaths in every typical 40-hour workweek. Aside from the obvious terrible impact of an employee getting injured or dying, there are other negative effects such as raising accident-related costs or facing an expensive lawsuit. Moreover, preventing injuries and illnesses in the workplace can reduce absenteeism, lower turnover, raise productivity and improve employee morale.
Employees should be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior as they see fit. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so encourage employees not to be shy and speak up if they think something doesn’t seem right. One way of keeping potentially harmful strangers out of the office is to require all employees to wear badges at all times. Also, you should have a sign-in sheet at the front for any visitors who then must be escorted around the premises by an employee.
Your building, parking lot and anywhere else where your employees or equipment are should be kept safe at all times. Whatever type of security system you have the funds for including surveillance cameras should be set up throughout the building as well as around the outside. Every walkway, doorway and entryway should be kept clear of any obstacles in case of emergency to prevent potential accidents. There should also be emergency plans set in place for every part of the premises for any type of emergency.
All equipment should be up to date and ready to use or it should not be used at all. Regular maintenance should be conducted on all equipment and any and all problems should be reported and recorded for easy lookup. Make sure that anyone who uses the equipment is properly trained and understands how to inspect the equipment on his own before using it.
Make sure your company computer firewall is up to date and that no outside people are trying to get into your system. Your company data is extremely important information and you should go to great lengths to protect it. Implement password protection for any documents or data that you don’t want getting out, and routinely change the passwords, especially after letting an employee go.
Your safety program should be integrated into all aspects of your company and should be emphasized just as much as production, sales and quality control. The United States Department of Labor suggests that safety procedures should not be considered separate of anything else but a part of everything. That way, it is just assumed that everything is done as safely as possible as it should be instead of taking extra time to focus on safety and then basically forgetting about it.
A good way to integrate safety and health procedures into everyday life is to make it a part of your company’s incentive program as well. As opposed to just giving out rewards for production- or profit-driven figures, give bonuses to departments for being accident-free for a certain amount of time. The more your employees see safety as a part of their everyday routine, the more they will subconsciously think about maintaining a high level of safety throughout the day.
Safety and Health Check-Ups
In order to be certain that your company has the highest standards for safety and health, it’s necessary to have frequent check-ups. The United States Department of Labor has an online evaluation that only takes a few minutes which will let you know which areas your company needs to improve in. Even if your company has gone a long time without any injuries in the workplace, still do frequent check-ups to make sure that no departments or employees are getting complacent. Certain indicators that you can use to gauge the level of safety are statistical reports, opinion surveys, risk analysis, periodic inspections and process improvement initiatives. Make sure that all of your employees answer any and all questions completely truthfully. The point of these check-ups is not to get anyone in trouble, but to constantly improve the level of safety throughout your company.
Anderson, Arnold. “Four Key Safety Management Concepts.” Small Business – Chron.com. The Houston Chronicle. Web. 26 July 2011. <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/four-key-safety-management-concepts-2716.html>.
"Safety and Health Management Systems ETool - Home Page." Occupational Safety and Health Administration - Home. United States Department of Labor. Web. 26 July 2011. <http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/safetyhealth/index.html>.
Rochelle is an experienced business writer, marketer and researcher. She is currently the Senior Editor and Content Producer at Intuit.