Implementing a quality safety program is essential to reducing workplace accidents. This is an effective way to ensure you stay in compliance with safety standards. More importantly, it is the cornerstone of building a comprehensive safety culture, which is the best way to reduce work-related injury and illness and their associated costs.
Four basic elements of a successful safety program are strongly recommended:
Management Leadership and Employee Involvement
The highest levels of management commitment are necessary to ensure that everyone at work is protected from injury and illness hazards. Without continued management support there is no way a safety program will get off the ground.
Annual safety goal-setting and action planning with employee input sets the stage for the company’s safety culture. BCN Services can provide you with the tools and assistance you need in establishing a safety program at your place of business.
A worksite analysis involves a basic self-inspection checklist to help identify safety hazards at your place of business. This checklist covers such items as a review of general housekeeping, condition of tools and equipment, status of fire extinguishers, first aid supplies, ladders, personal protective equipment, office safety, etc.
In addition to identifying existing hazards so they can be dealt with, a self-inspection will denote safety conditions at the start of your program, establishing a baseline that will allow you to measure improvement going forward.
Reviewing employee injury records can also be a valuable exercise to help identify a common cause for injuries. BCN Services provides you a report on the status of your injuries four times a year in the Quarterly Report.
Periodic review of your program’s effectiveness, along with ongoing monitoring of employee injuries, is needed for your safety program’s continued success.
All employees should receive sufficient training to understand their individual safety and health responsibilities and how to fulfill them. Supervisors should provide each employee with safety materials and personal guidance pertaining to his or her job. These measures might include:
- Making sure that each employee has access to a safety manual for review and future reference.
- Delivering a personal copy of safety rules, policies and procedures pertaining to safety in the workplace.
- Asking questions and answering employees’ questions to ensure knowledge and understanding of safety rules, polices and job-specific procedures described in the safety program manual.
- Training each new employee using verbal instruction and demonstration on how to perform assigned job tasks safely.
- Observing employees performing their work and making sure they are doing it safely. If they are not, the supervisor must provide additional training before permitting the employee to work without supervision.
Refresher training should occur periodically to keep standards high. If work environments or job tasks change, employees should receive updated instruction. BCN Services’ on-line safety course library is rich in training material and is available at www.www.bcnservices.com under the login section > Online Safety Training.
Hazard Prevention and Control
All hazards discovered during the worksite analysis should be eliminated if possible and alternate control methods should be used for hazards that remain. This may include engineering or administrative controls or the use of personal protective equipment.
It is also recommended that you determine which safety standards apply to the work being conducted at your place of business so individual safety and health programs can be established for each.
Creating an effective safety program for your organization based on the above Four-Point Program is a great first step in reducing your organization’s workers’ compensation costs. Coupled with ongoing safety initiatives and program benchmarking, this can mean thousands of dollars saved in premiums, increased productivity and reduced claims costs.
Do you have questions about safety in your workplace? BCN Services can help you assess your situation and create a safety-oriented environment. Contact us at 1-800-891-9911 or contact us here.
Patrick Boeheim, Risk Manager