With a proactive approach, safety managers can improve workplace safety. Despite their own actions, safety managers may feel like they’re fighting against their company’s reactive safety culture.
Consider this in the sense of workplace injuries. When safety managers take a proactive approach, they must respond to fewer injuries. This not only improves the employee experience but it also saves on company costs.
Now imagine if the entire company adopted this same approach. The injuries and costs would become far lower, while the employee experience would continue to improve.
It’s clear that staying on top of safety efforts can help reduce avoidable workplace injuries. The key is for safety managers to encourage their companies to adopt the same sentiment. Here are some ways to do that.
Stay Up-to-Date on Policies and Procedures
Change is a common theme for companies — whether it relates to technologies, employee dynamics, or environments. As these changes occur, it’s important to ensure that policies and procedures align with them. If a company moves offices, for example, some of their safety guidelines may need to change to correlate with the new setup.
When possible, it’s also beneficial to consider future plans in the pipeline and begin brainstorming how to manage policies and procedures in those cases.
Serve Up Safety Training in Small Doses
If too much information is thrown at employees all at once, chances are they may feel burnt out. To keep safety guidelines fresh in the minds of employees, give them quick daily reminders. These reminders can come through emails or be posted as signs around the office. Further, you can routinely schedule emergency procedure drills to ensure that employees know how to handle emergency situations properly.
Monitor Employees in the Workplace
While additional training can help reinforce safety measures, it’s important to see firsthand that employees are observing such guidelines. For instance, safety managers should regularly check to see if employees are using the safety equipment and tools made available to them. They should also check to see that the equipment fits properly and is in good working order. When any inconsistencies are noted between the required guidelines and their findings, the appropriate actions should be taken.
Create a Culture with Open Communication
Employees should feel free to speak up about safety and health concerns in the workplace, as well as suggest ideas and improvements. One way to facilitate this is by holding meetings where employees have a chance to share such feedback. You can also create an online portal or set up a hotline service where employees can report issues anonymously. All of these efforts offer greater insight into issues that may not have been apparent beforehand.
Make sure that when you make that first big step to open up communications that your organization is truly ready to listen and take action. Opening up communication and then not doing anything with the information is just like giving lip service to the issues. This can backfire on you and make relationships with personnel worse, particularly if they have put out the effort to share their knowledge and energy and no action results. On the other hand, real action taken against real issues can improve relationships with personnel dramatically.
Adopt One System to Track Data
Tracking data is key to solving workplace safety problems before they occur. While stand-alone programs can make it difficult to keep tabs on all the elements involved, an integrated program does a great job of collecting all the relevant materials in one setting. This makes it easier to pinpoint specific issues and facilitate routes for improvements.
A safety management system is an important investment for a company. To build a case for your employers, download a copy of our eBook, “Why You’re at Risk Without a Safety Management System.”