Every year, more than 5,000 workers are killed on the job (a rate of 14 per day), and more than 3.6 million suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.
Successful safety and health programs provide the workplace with recommended practices to help proactively find and fix workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness.
Every workplace should have a safety and health program that includes management leadership, worker participation and a workable approach to finding and fixing hazards.
The benefits of having a safety and health program include:
- Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
- Improve compliance with laws and regulations
- Reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers' compensation premiums
- Engage workers
- Enhance their social responsibility goals
- Increase productivity and enhance overall business operations
10 Ways to Get Your Program Started.
1. Establish safety and health as a core value. The goal is for all employees to go home safely. Work with them to find and fix hazards to ensure this happens.
2. Lead by example. This means that everyone from top to bottom lives and breathes safety every day.
3. Implement a reporting system. Provide a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents, hazards or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation.
4. Provide training. Be sure everyone knows how to identify and control hazards in the workplace.
5. Conduct inspections. Don’t just conduct inspections; ask workers to help identify activities, equipment and materials that concern them.
6. Collect hazard control ideas. Involve workers. Ask them for ideas on improvements and be sure to follow up with them.
7. Implement hazard controls. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing and evaluating the solutions they come up with.
8. Address emergencies. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop procedures on what to do in each case.
9. Seek input on workplace changes. Again, involve workers before making significant changes and make sure you address their safety concerns.
10. Make improvements to the program. Regularly discuss your safety and health issues and program so that you can identify ways to improve it.