Your employees have a right to a safe work environment. During National Safety Month in June, take an honest look at how your company is doing on its 2019 safety goals. Are you falling short? Remember, even one injury is one too many.
Safety starts with committed leadership.
The most important element in improving your safety record is commitment from top leadership. This means more than just talking about safety at meetings; it means walking the talk, every single day.
- If a worker observes a company VP on a manufacturing floor without safety glasses or hearing protection, why should it matter if they observe PPE regulations? It gives employees a true sense of responsibility when they see their leaders promoting and practicing safety in every aspect of business.
Hold everyone accountable for safety.
Every employee should understand their role in safety and willingly participate in improvement initiatives. Make safety a leading core value and hold everyone accountable for it.
- Employee engagement is essential. As noted by Michael Deak, corporate director of safety and health at E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., “if you don’t engage all employees, you don’t have a prayer at becoming a world-class company, in safety or in business.”
- Managers should be graded not only on a financial scorecard, but also on their ability to integrate safety into the business process. And line employees should be engaged through frequent communication, by including them in incident investigations, and by facilitating their participation on audit teams, among other steps.
Provide ongoing safety training.
Even your best workers need ongoing refreshers to stay on track with safety. Never let complacency set in. Ongoing training teaches people about new ideas, products and techniques to stay safe, and also reminds them of their vital role in safety.
- No matter how busy your company is, or how tight the customer demand may be on any given day, do not allow workers to skip safety training. Because the most important number you achieve on your overall scorecard is zero, listed under “safety incidents.”
Prevent and POLICE safety.
Develop “before the fact” metrics for measuring safety performance that lead to predictable and desired results. Focus on preventing versus solving problems. James Kendrick, CSP, president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, summed this up in saying, “Safety needs to be managed at the same degree as every other aspect of business. The same amount of management skill and effort needs to be applied to safety as quality, cost, schedule, production, etc.”
Kendrick describes the POLICE acronym to enhance your focus on safety:
- Plan for safety in everything you do.
- Organize so safety top among your business metrics.
- Lead by example.
- Inspect and investigate. Look for hazards and press for timely corrective actions.
- Correct, coach and commend. Correct items that threaten safety in a timely manner. Actively coach for better performance, and commend safe behaviors.
- Evaluate. Then you can develop solutions and press for continuous improvement.
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Lyons HR provides a comprehensive range of HR, safety and risk management services including planning, development and training, as well as workplace assessments, assistance with investigations, and comp and claims management. We’ll help you keep your safety record on track and your workforce strong. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.