Creating a Company Safety PlanSara Meade
In order to maintain a safe work environment, a company safety plan tailored to your specific workplace can benefit everyone. Employee wellness and safety should be high on the company’s priority list. As always, workplace culture starts from the top. Upper management should demonstrate their concern and dedication to their employees’ safety by encouraging all personnel to follow safety requirements and procedures. A safe work environment is everyone’s responsibility. Staying informed on current occupational health and safety topics is essential to the success of the program.
As a starting point, you can use OSHA requirements as a model for developing the safety program. One of the very first steps in the process is to have a safety professional (or whoever is in charge of the safety program at your company) assess your worksite, keeping the company’s immediate needs in consideration. Identify any risks and hazards while gathering as much information about the current conditions of your worksite as possible.
Once all facilities, equipment, and materials are reviewed, written programs and procedures should be developed and enforced. It is the responsibility of management to clearly designate health and safety processes to establish a strong safety culture that fits the needs of your operation. Common regulations that require plans in writing include such topics as electrical safety, fire prevention, hearing conservation, respiratory protection, and emergency action plans. All safety goals must be communicated. Written safety policies should be visibly posted for all employees to refer to, and used as a reminder of the business’s safety priorities.
Educating all employees on the specific job hazards and proper work practices is crucial for protecting workers on the job. Your company is responsible for providing adequate training to employees as it is a fundamental part of any successful safety program. Several OSHA standards require businesses to offer safety training so that employees can fully understand health and safety policies and do their part in helping maintain a safe work environment. As new employees are hired and new processes and equipment are introduced in the workplace, training sessions should continue to be held and reinforced on a routine basis.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of creating and sustaining a company safety plan is making sure to regularly evaluate current safety processes. To prevent workplace injuries from ever happening, it is necessary to make improvements and modify existing procedures as needed. In the event that an accident does occur, the incident should always be reported and investigated, no matter the outcome of the situation.
Accidents happen, but they are completely preventable in the workplace—especially with a company safety plan put in place. When employees are injured and are incapable of performing their job duties, the whole company suffers. Not only does OSHA fine businesses for safety violations, but other employees may suffer the burden of taking on their injured co-worker’s additional duties. This can mean increased overtime costs, increased turnover, or having to hire new, temporary employees. By being proactive about workplace safety, businesses can reduce accidents and injuries, improve productivity, and contribute to the overall success of the company and its’ greatest assets.