Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program Step 5: Immediate Corrective Action

When it comes to health and safety in the workplace, it’s essential to deal with hazards as quickly as possible. When an incident or near miss occurs, or when a hazard is identified by a worker, it is the responsibility of both management and your safety program’s leaders to take immediate action. Immediate corrective action not only prevent further injury or illness from occurring, it also shows your workers that your organization takes safety seriously.

These are three steps that can help you to take the most effective action when an incident occurs at your worksite.  

  1. React: If a worker is injured, the first step is to ensure that they receive proper medical attention as soon as possible.
  2. Investigate: Investigation isn’t about placing blame; it’s about identifying the root causes of the injury and making sure that workers understand why the incident occurred. Investigations should be conducted by supervisors and employees working together.
  3. Reflect: Create a detailed report of the incident for your records. Then, ask these three questions in your post-incident reflection. If a rule or procedure was not followed, why was it not followed? Did pressures for productivity play a role, and if so, why were they allowed to jeopardize safety? Was the procedure or safety training related to the procedure out-of-date or inadequate?

While immediate corrective action is crucial, it’s also important to let these situations guide long-term corrective action. A quick-fix for a safety hazard is never acceptable. Once immediate action has been taken and the hazard has been eliminated, it’s necessary to consider how the occurrence should impact your overall program in the long-term.

United Alliance Services provides a variety of workplace health and safety training services to companies in the New England area. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help make your workplace safer.

Read the previous Steps:

Step 1: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 1: Leadership

Step: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 2: Communication and Awareness

Step 3: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 3: Tracking Trends & Effectiveness

Step 4: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 4: Accountability