Here is a top 10 list that will get you started, provide you with a solid foundation for your safety program, ensure everyone is involved, and keep you on track as your company grows.
If you have ever taken a look around OSHA’s website you know that things can get very confusing, very fast, especially if you are new to or overwhelmed by the world of safety. Business owners know that safety is important, and they know that they need to get their safety program in place (fast!) but knowing where to start, what’s most important, and what to focus on first can be daunting! Especially, when owners and managers have a million other things to worry about during the course of a workday.
If you find yourself in this position as an owner, safety professional, or manager, here is a top 10 list that will get you started and provide you with a solid foundation for your safety program. If you already have a safety and health program in place, review the list to make sure you have all your bases covered.
What you will notice right away is that these top 10 suggestions ensure that employees get involved and play a critical role in your safety & health program. The burden should not be on one person’s shoulders, get everyone involved!
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- Set Safety & Health as a Top Priority. Tell your workers that making sure they finish the day and go home safely is the way you do business. Assure them that you will work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
- Lead by Example. Practice safe behaviors yourself and make safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
- Implement a Reporting System. Develop and communicate a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents (including near misses/close calls), hazards, or safety and health concerns, without fear of retaliation. Include an option for reporting hazards or concerns anonymously – you might be surprised at what you learn.
- Provide Training. Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace. Use short-targeted safety training sessions as part of your training process. Tailgate meetings, toolbox talks, weekly or even monthly safety meetings that are short can be the perfect way to introduce reminders on proper safe work practices.
- Conduct Inspections. Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or material that concerns them.
- Collect Hazard Control Ideas. Ask workers for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Provide them time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions. Idea: OSHA’s Hazard Identification Training Tool is an interactive, online, game-based training tool for small business owners, workers and others interested in learning the core concepts of hazard identification. After using this tool, users will better understand the process to identify hazards in their own workplace. Consider using this tool with a small group of 2-3 workers as part of a safety committee.
- Implement Hazard Controls. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing, and evaluating the solutions they come up with.
- Address Emergencies. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Meet to discuss these procedures and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
- Seek Input on Workplace Changes. Before making significant changes to the workplace, work organization, equipment, or materials, consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues.
- Make Improvements. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.
This top 10 list of recommended practices for Safety & Health programs is provided by OSHA. To learn more, visit the OSHA website at osha.gov and get access to resources to help you get started and stay on track with your safety program.
Adding regular safety meetings to your company’s safety and health program is a great way to get employees on board with the safety culture, promote involvement in the safety program and boost team morale. Holding regular safety meetings with your crews, teams and staff is also the best way to ensure that your company is off to a great start meeting and exceeding OSHA’s compliance standards.