Workplace Safety Protocols
Creating and supporting a culture of health and safety is a critical component for your business and may even boost your bottom line. Businesses that make workplace safety a priority see fewer at-risk behaviors and accidents, lower absenteeism and higher productivity. In fact, the average cost of a minor incident is 16 times higher than the cost of the preventive measure, while a very serious or fatal incident is 48 times higher.
A culture of safety can also boost morale and empower employees to recognize and aim to correct unsafe situations. However, to continually support a safe environment, it’s important for businesses to review their workplace safety plans and protocols regularly. Developing safety procedures is not a one-time “fix it and forget it.”
As you develop and measure your safety procedures, here are four workplace safety tips to consider:
1. Review policies regularly
Businesses should review safety policies anytime there is an accident or a major change in the way the business operates, such as the use of new equipment or a substantial increase in the number of workers. Beyond that, businesses may want to consider reviewing the workplace safety procedures once a year to ensure they remain on the right track. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has developed safety and health program audit tool (PDF) that help companies evaluate their safety programs.
2. Support from company leadership
Make sure the company’s leadership believes strongly in safety and models that to employees. For example, bosses should wear the required protective equipment when appropriate, which showcases to employees the importance of safety rules.
3. Involve and support employees
Get workers involved in safety inspections and daily activities that support a culture of safety. Create a process that all employees are aware of that outlines how to report safety concerns - and make sure this information is taken seriously by leadership and responded to in a timely manner. Directly involve and empower employees when you conduct your regular reviews of workplace safety protocols.
4. Celebrate workplace safety with recognition programs
Recognize and commend employees and teams that have had an important impact on safety. Don’t reward employees for results - meaning, fewer accidents or near-misses - because that could be a disincentive to report incidents. Instead, create safety incentive programs that reward workers for safety-related behaviors, such as reporting concerns or being proactive in finding a solution.
Supporting your employees and showing you care about their safety and health boosts morale and creates a supportive workplace environment. Reviewing your safety protocols regularly underscores your company’s commitment to workers’ well-being and can ultimately benefit your company’s financial health.
Despite well thought out and reviewed workplace safety plans, the unexpected can still happen. Make sure your business is protected with Business Liability Insurance.
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