Safety Management Insights

How to Be A More Safety-Minded HR Manager

Posted by Don Brown on Jul 18, 2014 7:30:00 AM

HR_managerIn this increasingly complex and competitive economy, where downsizing and consolidation are commonplace, human resource managers are taking on more and more roles. Even at large companies with dedicated safety managers, human resource managers are tasked with a variety of safety-oriented tasks – training, incident tracking, claims management and more.

While these may seem like secondary tasks for many HR managers, they often take on just as many safety-related and preventive responsibilities as their safety managers themselves.

Added to their “main” roles in accounting, hiring, bookkeeping and benefits administration, these safety responsibilities can seem like a burden. Fortunately, there are plenty of systems, tools and best practices that can help HR personnel efficiently incorporate safety management into their daily routines.

Here are a few to help you get started.

Keep Complete Records

Extensive bookkeeping is likely already a regular part of your job as an HR manager, so make things easier on yourself by recording and tracking safety incidents as thoroughly as you would benefits, sick days or paid time off. Scattered or incomplete safety records can make it next to impossible to prevent future incidents, but a complete record allows you to track all of the variables that have contributed to accidents and illnesses – dangerous job sites, gaps in training and certain employee behaviors, for instance.

One of the best tools for keeping such a complete record is BasicSafe's Incident Investigation and Reporting Module. This tool allows you to record basic information on each incident, as well as custom data on injury sources, at-risk behaviors and more. It also provides easy-to-fill forms that will automatically generate OSHA 301, 300 and 300A forms.

The BasicSafe Action Management Module can also help you track the actions you and other managers take following each incident. You can assign specific actions to individuals and teams, and the program makes it easy to see which ones have been completed. Whether you're the employee deciding which actions need to be taken and when – or you're following the instructions of a safety manager– this module will help to ensure proper actions are taken after every incident. Best of all, it can be used with other safety management tools as part of a comprehensive safety software system. 

Track Your Training

If you're taking on safety-related roles in your company, chances are you'll need to conduct ongoing safety training sessions for both existing employees and new hires. And, just as with incidents and follow up actions, tracking is critical in maximizing the efficacy and efficiency of your training. A thorough record of who has been trained, how they were trained and when they were trained will help you to avoid time-consuming retraining and ensure that employees are up to speed before they visit potentially dangerous job sites.

Just like the Incident Investigation and Reporting Module, the BasicSafe Safety Training Management Module can help you maintain these records. It also allows you to create custom safety training modules, complete with uploaded or linked training materials for individual and group viewers. You and other trainers can validate that certain sessions have been completed, and other stakeholders can access the training records during audits.

Host Safety Talks

Aside from technological solutions, one of the best ways to create a safety-minded culture at your company is to host pre-shift safety talks for workers and other managers. Even if you already have a successful process safety management program, these brief pep talks can go a long way to remind employees of safety regulations and safe work processes. A few guidelines for successful safety talks include:

  • Present, don't read. Reading verbatim from a list or script makes a speech seem robotic, while casual language and spontaneity makes it more personable and relevant to listeners.

  • Keep it short. Your talks should take no more than 10 minutes, particularly if you're giving them on a daily or weekly basis. Address the most important hazards for a specific time frame or work site, and focus on a few key safety strategies for that environment.

  • Choose the right presenter. Even if you're organizing your company's safety talks, other administrators may be better suited to actually presenting them. Site supervisors, foremen or other employees who are directly overseeing a job are usually the best candidates.

  • Document each talk. Once again, record-keeping and tracking are as critical for these talks as they are for your other safety-related tasks. OSHA requires documentation of preventive measures, and you'll want to know for yourself which talks have been most effective at keeping your workers safe.

To learn more about how to be a more safety-minded HR manager,in download our free guide, “9 Ways to Make Your Job As Safety Manager Easier.”

9 Ways to Make Your Job as a Safety Manager Easier