It’s very easy to identify a company that doesn’t exhibit a safety culture. Such an organization has recurring downtime and injuries along with possible litigation problems and increasing insurance rates. At this facility, employees don’t feel comfortable or safe with the PPE offered to them and never alert anyone if glasses, gloves, or earplugs don’t fit properly. Workers and the management sometimes also ignore the safety procedures. Safety is not a top priority – it’s never discussed or invested in at all. Additionally, employees aren’t empowered to make a difference: the culture of safety doesn’t exist or it’s broken.
When an organization embraces the culture of safety, the workers are always empowered to take action and are responsible not only for their safety but also for the safety of their colleagues. The management understands the value of safety and is always committed toward changing the environment for the better and invests in protective equipment, clothing, technology, and services required to keep the workplace and employees safe. According to OSHA, developing a safety culture reduces incidents and that’s why this should be a priority for all supervisors and managers.
1- Management Commitment to Safety
If your management is committed towards developing a safety culture, the employees will follow suit. Managers offer the motivating force including the resources needed for controlling and organizing every activity within the company. They also allocated money for safety manpower and create policies and procedures that must be adhered to make the workplace safe.
2- Create Safety Policies and Procedures
Safety processes need to be established and posted throughout the facility. Make sure workers follow all the policies and procedures as outlined. Offer clearly written instructions and talk to the employees before they can start using any electrical equipment or performing tasks. Ensure workers know what is required of them and offer instructions in additional languages if you have to.
3- Encourage Employees to be Accountable and Responsible for Safety
Organizations that have excelled in creating a safety culture always understand how important safety is. Each employee is responsible for their own safety and those of others. You can empower your workers by involving them in the safety planning process. The more the employees understand safety the more the initiative will succeed. Moreover, employees will take these safe practices home meaning their family will also be safe.
There various opportunities for workers to take part in the safety program, including:
- Development of Job Safety Analyses and Operation Procedures
- Emergency Response Team
- Ensure Training is Part of Your Safety Program
- Incident Investigation
- Presentation of Training Topics
- Safety Committees
Training is a vital part of any safety program. This is the opportunity you have to make an impression regarding the company’s commitment towards employees’ well-being and safety. Consider sharing best practices during the weekly safety meetings and offer safety resources to the employees. You may also invest in a training program which can impact your bottom line positively by minimizing insurance premiums, ensuring compliance with regulations, and lowering the employees’ compensation rate. The training must include operating procedures to help employees understand what is required to complete their tasks safely.
4- Use Technology and Systems to Correct and Prevent Safety Problems
Providing training and high-quality PPE is not enough. You must ensure you know the potential hazard in the facility. A safety audit at your place can help identify any potential deficiencies as well as outdated equipment. It also helps you review your training records and safety gaps that put workers at risk. By investing in new innovative technology, you will take a proactive approach towards preventing injuries.
5- Commit Yourself to Continuous Improvement
After you have implemented all these outlined steps, it is important to continually progress and make the necessary improvements. Establish a series of process improvement steps and ensure they are measured. This will keep the company effectively committed to building a safety culture. When a company develops a safety culture, turnover rates and absenteeism reduce, and higher productivity is achieved.
All these steps will help you keep your company and employees safe. Be sure to follow them and you will ensure every worker goes home safely after each shift.