Five Steps to Developing an Effective Workplace Safety Program

If you are an employer of any size, it is important to prioritize and put workplace safety first to protect both your employees and your financial assets.  You should have a workplace safety plan put into place but if you don’t, here are five steps you should be following to ensure your employees are safe while at work

Step 1: Demonstrate Company’s Commitment to Workplace Safety

Make workplace safety a company-wide value.  Add a sentence in your company’s mission statement so it becomes top of mind.  Management should reflect these values not only in their words but their actions.  They should conduct a thorough investigation and give detailed reporting of every workplace accident while encouraging employees to follow proper safety procedures. 

Step 2: Assess Workplace Risks and Hazards

You will need to get a professional assessment of the everyday hazards specific to your workplace.  Management should release a company wide survey to give employees the opportunity to express their concerns confidentially.  Since the employees work in these conditions every day, it is important to get their opinions and they can often give insight about risks that aren’t obvious to someone who isn’t privy to them on a daily basis.  During both the professional and employee assessments, make sure to create a distinction between workplace hazards (building layout and design), activity hazards (anything related to machinery) and environmental hazards (air quality, chemicals, fumes, etc.)

Step 3: Create a Written Protocol for Employees

Once you have determined all workplace hazards, you can sort to create the blueprint for your safety program.  Employee job descriptions must be clear in writing and must state specifically the issues and requirements regarding safety and health responsibilities.  By having these requirements in writing, it saves room for error when employees are unclear and may need further explanations of their job requirements. 

Step 4: Emphasize Employee Education

After the safety guidelines have been created, you need to relay the information to your employees.  Training should be done when employees are first hired but once new procedures or equipment have been introduced, you should be training your employees on the new protocol.  If you notice new hazards or an employee has transferred, training should be done to refresh the current team.  By constantly reviewing and training your employees, they will be up to date on proper safety guidelines and less mistakes will be made.

Step 5:  Implement and Evaluate 

You should be investigating all workplace accidents no matter how small you may think they are.  Most incidents are usually preventable and once you determine the cause you can figure out a solution so that this does not happen again in the future.  Accidents open the door to making working conditions safer for the employees in the future.  All employee feedback whether anonymous or not should be kept at the forefront.  Workplace duties and employees are always evolving and new safety risks can rise every day.  This is sometimes faster than most employers realize and you don’t want it to be too late where an accident could be fatal. 

Once you put these steps into place, your workplace safety program should be executed immediately to your employers.  Hold dialogue between employees and employers and encourage questions to be asked.  If you have been injured at work due to an unsafe workplace call Losi & Gangi today at 716-854-1446 and speak with one of our attorneys.  

Article adapted from: https://www.ehsinsight.com/blog/5-steps-to-developing-an-effective-workplace-safety-program