Creating an environment of safety is essential to the long-term well-being of the company. Many workers are eager to follow instructions, especially when it comes to safety, but often are left without a plan of attack. OSHA provides some guidelines for business owners and managers interested in implementing an effective training program.
Below I have simplified five tips to ensure adequate safety training – implementing some of these tips may help your company lower long-term costs and increase worker productivity throughout the organization.
Ensuring Proper Safety Training to Prevent Injuries
Management Commitment – Leadership begins at the top in all aspects of business – safety measures are no different. If you want to create an appropriate training program that is effective, management must be an advocate in the creation of proper safety procedures. From direction to incentives, some of the most effective safety training programs currently in operation are the simple ones. Workers have deadlines, obligations, and quotas to meet every week, and safety procedures are usually not a high priority. Therefore, implementing an effective safety training program should concentrate on a few core competencies specific to your company’s business model and industry.
Hazard Prevention and Controls – One of the best ways to ensure safety is to reduce the possible occurrences of hazards within the workplace. Reading OSHA literature for small businesses is one of the most effective ways to implement control systems and eliminate potential hazards otherwise unseen by management. In addition, OSHA’s Compliance Assistance Quick Start website is an excellent online resource for providing workplace safety and health management systems. Prior to implementing systems, have production managers and industrial engineers investigate the manufacturing plant or job site for potential hazards and record the problems through OSHA recordkeeping. These potential risks should then be prioritized and rectified as soon as possible.
Ask OSHA for Help – Even if you are reading this and plan on using some of the techniques provided, nothing is better than real-time assistance from OSHA themselves. As a business owner, your management team can take advantage of free OSHA assistance with program development and training questions. Compliance assistance specialists are available in every OSHA area office throughout the country – log onto OSHA.gov to find a location closest to your business for one-on-one compliance help.
Continuous Improvement – The foundation of any efficient system is the implementation of a control and continuous improvement measure. Without continuous improvement, old safety measures become hazards to workers using new machines and technologies. Make sure your equipment is up to code by calling ANSI or OSHA with questions about specific scenarios within your organization or visit www.osha.gov for help with general questions. Set aside the necessary time initially and every month thereafter to ensure the training program is still relevant and useful to employees.
Set Up a Safety Program Checklist – This is probably one of the most important actions of creating a safety program. The checklist is the call to action for both employees and management within the organization and provides guidelines for daily checks and monthly reports. Creating a checklist and monitoring employee compliance is the best way to ensure long-term safety requirements are being met every day. In addition, a general compliance checklist is critical to ensure your satisfying all the requirements of a successful program, including employee involvement procedures, relative safety issues, and management direction. Answering “yes” or “no” to a few vital questions all help develop a sense of direction for the training program, including questions like: Do all employees know how to activate the emergency response system? Are employees involved in policy-making on safety and health issues? These types of questions are essential to proper communication between workers and ownership, ultimately leading to lower costs and higher productivity.
Matthew Hall has spent many years working as a human resources director for a small engineering company – as such, maintaining employee safety fell under his watch. To help better facilitate training, he complimented what he learned from OSHA with software and additional support from eCompliance Management Solutions Inc. You can learn more about Matthew on Google+.