Occupational injuries and illnesses can be major crises for employees, their loved ones, and their company. Physical, emotional and mental trauma, financial burdens, and time demands can stretch people and organizations to their breaking point. Ensuring that every one of your staff members returns home safely each day should be your number-one business priority.
Never underestimate the importance of safety and a robust safety plan.
- The financial impact of accidents can be devastating. A worker injured on the job costs your organization in lost hours, increased insurance rates, worker’s compensation premiums and possible litigation. Productivity suffers as other workers have to stop their tasks and deal with the accident, and then may be overworked in its aftermath.
- Safe workers are loyal workers. When you maintain a safe workplace, you decrease absenteeism and attrition. By making safety the core of your culture, you engender trust. People typically respond by working harder, showing more pride in their jobs, and staying loyal.
- Safety helps build quality. A safe workplace is more efficient, as it is free of clutter and debris. Employees are able to minimize distractions and focus on what they’re doing. The result is better products that heighten customer satisfaction, profit margins and sales.
Elements of a Good Safety Plan
Consider these elements as you review your safety plan, identify any gaps, and provide a catalyst for continuous safety improvement at your company.
- Hazard recognition, evaluation and control. Proactive hazard identification is critical to any safety program. This encompasses the people actually doing the work, the equipment and materials being used, and the processes and practices themselves. Once hazards are identified and prioritized, they must be controlled – including elimination and substitution, engineering modifications, personal protective equipment, and administrative controls.
- Workplace design and engineering. Design safety into your workplace by addressing ergonomics, ventilation, noise, machine safeguarding, materials handling and storage, use of automated processes, and added reserve capacity. This is in addition to building code compliance, such as electrical standards, fire suppression and egress requirements.
- Regulatory compliance. Stay informed and abreast of new or evolving OSHA, EPA, DOT and accreditation agency standards. Non-compliance can have serious consequences, up to and including the ceasing of operations.
- Orientation and training. Besides the need for training from a regulatory standpoint, it’s vital employees know what to do to perform their jobs correctly and safely at all times. Training can range from classroom to hands-on and from general to task-specific.
- Communications. Internal communication keeps employees informed of new and existing policies, procedures, safety reminders, and lessons learned. It provides avenues from the front line to upper management, with information flow in both directions key to your effective safety plan.
What can a PEO do for your business?
As an ESAC-accredited professional employer organization (PEO), Lyons HR can be a valued business partner in all areas of talent and risk management, including custom safety plans and training. To determine whether outsourcing some of your critical HR functions could help your business, contact us today.