Creating and Maintaining Safe Workplaces – Safety Culture

Safety isn’t glamorous, but it affects the bottom line for businesses of all sizes.  So let’s make it interesting and keep it in the forefront of your workforces’ minds. A safety culture enables your business to keep your costs low, minimize injuries and conserve your resources so that you can focus on the parts of running your business that you enjoy.

Employees’ safety is important for the life blood of your organization. Employees are what keep the doors open and the business running. The side effects of an employee injury are numerous:

– The disruption on the date of the accident;

– The missed time and possible replacement costs of losing an employee;

-The real dollar cost of medical treatment; and

-The impact on your insurance coverages.

Thinking about these ideas upfront helps instill a safety culture in your organization. A deep-rooted safety culture keeps accident prevention in the forefront of your employee’s mind. It helps your employee think about making safer and smarter working decisions. Moreover, in assessing whether a business meets compliance standards, OSHA looks favorably upon organizations that have adopted a safety culture. We all know that OSHA compliance is important to running a smooth business!

So how does one create a safety culture?

Training: Start with safety trainings for all equipment and tools used in the workplace. Make sure that all employees are properly trained and that the training remains up-to-date as new technology is added. Safe equipment usage can easily prevent injury. Also, formal training delivered by management sends a message that workplace safety is a top priority.

Top down approach: Show your employees you value safety, and set that tone for the business. This is achieved through the training, but also through use of safe items like non-slip shoes or driving devices in vehicles. Do not encourage workers to be creative or get the job done “no matter what.” Doing so signals that production is preferred over safety – which is not the way to maintain a safety culture. Talk to employees about what works and what does not. They are the first and best tool to implement change. In addition, responding to their feedback makes them feel valued and in control.

Hire good people: By recruiting smart people you can rely on them to make smart decisions for your business. These employees will also take the trainings seriously and follow proper protocols. Make them your frontline for instilling a safety culture.

Use games and rewards: OSHA recommends games and rewards to promote a safety culture. Keep the games fun and interactive. Businesses should avoid directly punishing employees for an incident or accident. A reward system reinforces safety and makes the work day enjoyable.

The combination of these tools can create a successful safety environment where accidents are minimized. Of course, accidents will occur, but they should be infrequent learning opportunities. Maintaining a safety culture will go a long way to curtailing costs associated with workplace accidents.

MBA’s Risk Management Department is here to help you evaluate your loss control and safety needs. Our specialists can work with you to develop the proper top down approach needed to keep your workers safe and prevent injuries.

Do you have questions on implementing your safety culture plan? Contact MBA today.

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