How to Develop a Safety Program in 9 Easy Steps
Your employees are your biggest asset. That is why you must do everything in your power to make sure they are happy and safe in the workplace. Here are some easy steps for you to follow in order to develop a safety program in your company.
Create a plan
No matter what type of industry you’re in, you need to have a safety protocol. That is why you have to think about this while developing your business plan. You should take the costs into account and prepare a special part of the budget for it. Include the importance of workplace safety in your mission statement as well. This cannot be an afterthought.
Analyze safety risks
Conducting safety risk analysis on a regular basis is crucial for keeping your employees protected. You need to have safety and health hazards identified as well as evaluate the risks for each of them. Make the distinction between workplace, activity and environmental hazards. Keep in mind that different jobs come with different risks so don’t forget to conduct an assessment for every role in your company.
Have a written protocol
Once you are aware of the risks each position in your company poses, you can provide your employees with written guidelines. It is important to present your staff with their job description and responsibilities. Clearly state the requirements for the job. Having it all on paper is vital in order to avoid any misinterpretations and ambiguity. Moreover, you have to update these every time a workplace risk assessment is conducted and let your workers know about the changes.
Train your employees
Having created your guidelines, you can now turn to actually training your workforce. Make sure you train the employees when they are first hired but don’t forget to give them periodic refreshers. Providing your workers with knowledge is the best way to prepare them for accidents. A study by OSHA concluded that training your staff can result in a decrease of up to 60% in workplace injury and illness. Employees must be taught how to use equipment and machinery properly, how to handle and store chemicals and hazardous materials as well as how to behave in case of an accident.
Appoint a safety officer
In order to make sure the safety procedure is conducted according to rules, you should appoint a safety officer. They need to understand their responsibilities, so make sure you include them in the job description. A safety officer will monitor workplace activities to see whether the staff is performing in accordance with government safety regulations as well as the company’s policy. They will also have the task of training the workers and conducting inspections in addition to working on the development of the safety policy.
Equip your workplace
You have to provide your employees with proper protective gear and equipment. Without it, they are at a greater risk of injury. Moreover, you should teach each worker how the equipment works and when it’s necessary, what types there are, its limitations as well as proper maintenance and disposal. Now, depending on the type of business you do, the safety equipment you will require varies. Perhaps you are in the construction industry and need to protect your workers from falls and distractions; in that case, turning to Fortress Fencing & Safety Systems can ensure you get all the quality equipment you need. In case your employees work outside a lot, make sure they are protected from the sun. On the other hand, if you work in an office, ergonomics play a huge role, so look into the best chairs and desks available.
Make safety a part your company culture
As we already mentioned, showing how much safety means to you by including it in your mission statement can prove to your employees that you care about them. You should also include safety reminders throughout the workplace. Keep in mind that you, as the leader, should set the example for your employees by following the rules you have imposed. Additionally, encourage your workers to report all unsafe practices.
Apart from informing you when the protocol was not followed, the employees can also tell you whether they feel safe and how they would improve the conditions. Make sure you listen to them and implement the ideas that seem helpful into your next protocol update. This will make the people feel respected and recognized. They will be motivated once they see that they play an active role in the safety program.
However, seeing as how sometimes accidents happen no matter how much we try, it’s important to conduct an investigation as soon as possible. Answer who, when, where, what, why and how. This will help you improve your safety plan. Document and report everything.
Your employees have to be committed in order for the safety program to work. Having a company culture that emphasizes safety is crucial for showing the workers that you care about their well-being. Proper training will let your workforce realize what is important and that will keep your company on the right track.