Creating a Safety Culture

The responsibilities that come with running a company, either small or large, seem to be never-ending.  Management has to figure out budgeting, human resources, as well as how to make a profit.  With these huge responsibilities of running a business, the goal of creating a great workplace safety program sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of everyday issues.  However, this does not have to happen.  It is essential to implement effective workplace safety training guidelines to keep employees safe and free from hazards.

Promoting a Culture of Safety

The primary goal of an employer should be to have a safe working environment for all employees.  The environment should also allow employees to prosper in their prospective positions.  However, this goal is often forgotten as deadlines near and demands grow.  But, in order for businesses to succeed, owners need to make this a priority.  A basic safety plan should place emphasis on the following simple guidelines:

  1. Focus on ergonomics.  Employees who work in static positions are prone to potentially severe injuries.  Supervisors must evaluate all work activities on a regular basis.  Employees should be allowed to change positions or work duties on a regular basis.
  2. Allow for regular work breaks.  It is sometimes too easy for people to get in the mindset that taking breaks at work only diminishes workplace efficiency.  But, this is just not true.   Allowing for work breaks keeps the workplace motivated, improves morale, and actually boosts productivity in the long run.
  3. Allow only proper use of machinery and tools.  During the workday, machinery or tools are sometimes modified to assist employees who are performing work activities.  Many of these “modifications” include the removal of guards or other safety equipment.  But, these modifications should be discouraged.  Employees should also be reminded how to safely operate equipment on a regular basis through training and educational opportunities.

Incorporate Safety into Workplace Training

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are many components that need to be a part of a successful workplace training program.  Here are a few of the things OSHA recommends:

  • Determine whether a worksite program can be solved through training.
  • Determine what, if any, training is necessary.
  • Identify goals and objectives for the training.
  • Design learning activities.
  • Conduct training.
  • Determine the effectiveness of the training.
  • Revise the training program, as needed.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for input from the entire workforce on the program.  It is important to keep them engaged.

OSHAcademy offers many different online courses to help your business create a successful workplace safety program.  For example, Course 700: Introduction to Safety Management has tips to develop an effective proactive safety management system.