When was the last time you reviewed your company’s overall safety plan? Is it time for a check-up?
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment.
Make sure your plan:
- Educates employees on why the company is investing in a workplace safety plan.
- Establishes protocols for reporting safety issues and addressing questions or concerns.
- Trains all employees – from the lowest level to the highest – on your company’s specific safety policy, plans and procedures.
- Recognizes good safety practices in action.
- Reviews your safety materials and equipment on a periodic basic to make sure they are up-to-date.
- Establishes an ongoing “continuing education” training program for all staff. Some may need this on a more frequent basis depending on their job responsibilities.
6 Steps to Improve Your Workplace Health & Safety Plan
Step 1: Create a plan to control workplace hazards. This will help you identify hazards in the workplace and take steps to minimize them.
Step 2: Inspect your workplace. Regularly check all equipment and tools, ensuring they are well-maintained and safe to use. It’s also a good practice to check storage areas to ensure boxes are stacked in a safe manner.
Step 3: Tell employees what they need to know to ensure their safety as well as their co-workers’ safety, such as evacuation plans and emergency response plans. Make sure they know what you expect from them. Provide written instructions and processes. Ensure jobs are being performed properly and safely.
Step 4: Talk with your employees. Encourage them to share ideas of how to improve workplace safety.
Step 5: Investigate incidents. Understanding why and how something happened will enable you to take steps to avoid it from happening in the future.
Step 6: Maintain records of inspections, incident investigations, and training activities. These will help you identify trends and unsafe conditions.
It’s also important to choose a safety coordinator or safety team to lead this effort. Try to select those with excellent communication skills … who can successfully transfer what s/he has learned to others.
Workplace safety isn’t a concern just for the obvious such as construction, manufacturing or industrial companies. It extends to service industries and office environments as well. Be sure you don’t skip this step.
For more information, check out OSHA’s Safety & Health Topics where you can find specific workplace hazards and selected occupational safety and health information.
This blog, originally posted August 17, 2012, has been updated with additional sources and information.