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It is inevitable that in any business with employees, there will be workplace incidents and injuries. Though safety may be one of the least glamorous aspects of operating a business, proper planning, training, and implementing a safety culture can have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. An effective safety culture can minimize injuries, reduce costs, and ensure compliance with all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) guidelines.
In order to create a safety culture, employers should:
Train. Employees must be initially trained on all equipment and tools used in the workplace. Ongoing training is also imperative as technology is enhanced. Effective training on how to safely use equipment can easily prevent injury and convey to employees that safety is a top priority of management.
Take a Top Down Approach. From the interview and hiring phase of employment, managers may set the tone of the importance of safety. Specifically, inform the employee of the required training classes they must attend and inform them of the requirement for non-slip shoes or driving devices in vehicles if they intend to work for the organization. Managers should never encourage employees to be creative or get the job done “no matter what.” This is an indication that production is preferred over the individual’s. Employees should be aware of the company’s established safety policies and procedures and should be able to reference them either online through the company’s internal system or in a location easily accessible to the employee. It is also important that managers speak with employees about the safest and most efficient way to accomplish a task. The individuals actually performing the job may have valuable feedback that can be utilized during the development of a safety culture.
Hire Good People. By hiring conscientious people who care about safety, you are putting them and the business in a position to be successful as it relates to safety issues. Engaged and concerned individuals will make smart decision, take training seriously, and follow proper protocols.
Use Games and Rewards. OSHA indicates that games and rewards are favorable in creating a safety culture. It is important to note, however, that employees cannot be punished for having an incident or accident. Therefore, they should be included in games and the receipt of awards.
By implementing the above tips and developing a safety culture, employers will create a work environment where employees are engaged, incidents are minimized and the real dollar cost of medical treatment and insurance coverages is decreased.
Modern Business Associates is a HR outsourcing company offering flexible, cost-efficient solutions for payroll, tax accounting, benefits administration, risk management and HR consulting. If you would like more information about how the experts at MBA can help your business operations, please email us at info@MBAhro.com or call (888) 622-6460 or visit www.MBAhro.com.