OSHA states that “Safe workplaces are sound businesses.”
By properly executing a safe and healthy program, employers can address potential problems before any injuries or illnesses happen. This ensures a sustainable bottom line by helping protect businesses from within.
This year, Safe + Sound Week 2021 will be held from August 9-15. There are three elements of the Safe + Sound Week: management leadership, worker involvement, and repairing hazards. OSHA recommends that a successful Safe + Sound Week incorporate at least one of these complementary activities but ideally all three.
Management leaders in an organization take responsibility for ensuring compliance with health and safety rules and regulations. They lead by example, advocating for safety and health, defining goals, and using the necessary resources to accomplish this goal.
The following points provide some suggestions from OSHA on how to implement management leadership:
- Promote safety and health. Promote safety and health by sending out an email blast, making a safety video, or writing a written message.
- Make yourself visible. Make sure workers see that you have their back by personally going among them and interacting with them. A quick safety meeting is another method.
- Put a formal policy in place that prioritizes safety. You can mention this policy during orientation sessions.
Engaging workers in safety and health prevention programs improve workplace safety and health because workers take an active part in the management of hazards. Worker experience makes them the best sources of input for these programs.
The following OSHA tips on worker involvement are:
- Ask for feedback and show you are listening. Under the law, employees have a right to voice concerns about workplace hazards. Managers can encourage and strengthen communication by using open-door policies, participating in open discussions, offering suggestion boxes, or sending out email surveys.
- Provide safety and health resources to employees. The safety and health of the workplace is a shared responsibility. Exposing workers to relevant tools and concepts is very important. You can do this by holding a training, inviting speakers from outside the company, or by having an open library of resources.
- Acknowledge employees or teams for contributing to workplace safety. Managers can display employee pictures on a ‘safety hall of fame’ and have lunches with employees to acknowledge and congratulate workers for a job well done regarding workplace safety.
Finding and Fixing Hazards
It is important that each business that is subject to safety and health issues have a solid process to identify and fix hazards. This enables them to do so before anyone gets hurt or sick.
OSHA suggests some of these strategies to fix hazards below:
- Highlight safety risks and safety controls. Start with the log of injuries and workers’ compensation records. Safety posters and email newsletters can help increase awareness.
- Research and analyze hazards. In a similar way to spotlighting hazards, companies can go over injury logs and industry data. Perform a job hazard analysis (JHA), conduct a gap analysis, or review insurance records for safety trends to identify hazards.
- Examine safety- and health-related processes and systems. Start safety controls after evaluating potential hazards. Businesses that integrate safety and health programs with their environmental management systems have found that their safety and health programs are more effective and perform better.
Safe + Sound For All Employees
OSHA strongly recommends top management within your organization leads the effort. Consider addressing the needs of all affected employees. Do your homework. You need to commit to addressing any issue-small or large-and regardless of the severity of the problem.