An effective health and safety program has several key objectives: to prevent injuries and illnesses, to improve compliance with laws and regulations, to reduce costs spent on workers’ compensation, and to increase general productivity. Health and safety should be one of the key foundations of your company culture. If you want to create a health and safety program that effectively accomplishes those objectives, follow these 8 steps!
- Establish Health and Safety and Company Core Values
When you speak to your employees (whether they be new hires or lifelong employees), make sure to emphasize the importance of health and safety. Health and safety should be company objectives, just like customer service or quality work.
- Lead by Example
Always follow your own health and safety protocols. Make sure to explain why you take certain measures to improve safety. If your employees see by your actions that you genuinely value health and safety, they will follow suit.
- Implement a Reporting/Suggesting System
Make sure that your employees feel comfortable reporting health/safety infractions and making suggestions on how to improve protocol. Set up a reporting/suggesting system that gives your employees a private way to speak about health/safety concerns. Your workers will likely identify safety risks that you never knew about, but only if you encourage them to.
- Provide Training
Safety training sessions are essential to demonstrate your commitment to workplace safety and to make sure employees continue to follow through with the rules. Show employees the protocol for dealing with hazards, reporting injuries/near misses, etc.
- Conduct Regular Inspections
Regular workplace inspections are necessary to identify potential hazards. Don’t do them alone; bring your workers with you for workplace inspections so that they know what to look for. They may identify hazards that you would have missed.
- Address Emergencies
Have a protocol set for every foreseeable emergency and follow them strictly when an incident occurs.
- Seek Input On Workplace/Procedure Changes
Before making significant changes to the workplace or to regular procedures, consult with your employees; they may identify potential health/safety hazards, which may change your course of action.
- Keep Improving
Set aside a regular, scheduled time to meet with employees to discuss workplace health and safety. Take suggestions, discuss incidents/near misses, and never stop improving your health and safety program.