Implementing a Culture of Safety in the Workplace

Creating and maintaining a safe work environment should be a high priority for organizations. Implementing and maintaining a safety program in your work environment can be daunting, but it is absolutely necessary. These programs are designed to make employees aware of what is going on around them in their work environment to keep them safe and healthy.

A safe workplace helps to minimize sick leaves and absenteeism, reduce the costs of injury and worker’s compensation, maximize productivity, and most importantly meet legal responsibilities and employee obligations. Below are important steps to take in order to ensure a safe workplace and promote a strong safety culture.

  • Provide visual aids. Areas, where dangerous equipment is stored, should be clearly labeled and the walkways should be highlighted with necessary signs.
  • Make sure that all employees are properly trained. The organization must provide all workers with safety training using the language they can understand. This training should be given to all new employees, with refresher courses required for existing workers or when workers switch positions within the company.
  • Ensure employees have the proper equipment. When worn correctly, protective gear can dramatically decrease your risk of injury.
  • Host monthly safety meetings. Establish a workplace health and safety committee made up of employees from different departments. The committee should meet at least once a month and keep employees and senior management informed about safety topics, inspections, injury and illness statistics, and other safety-related issues.
  • Implement emergency procedures.
  • Make new employees understand workplace risks. They need to be aware of possible general risks (fire, flood, or other natural disasters), risks that are specific to their position in the company, and a plan of action in case of an emergency.
  • Take regular breaks. Staying alert will help prevent an injury or other health conditions. Instead of scheduling more strenuous tasks in the middle of the day, do them first thing in the morning (if possible) when you are the most alert.
  • Address any concerns with your employer or Human Resources department. They need to be informed of any hazards or risks and are legally obligated to provide a safe working environment.
  • Instead of trying to lift a heavy object yourself, use mechanical aids when needed. Don’t overexert yourself.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Every job has imminent dangers, whether you are working at a place that has heavy machinery or even tripping over small items in your office. The best way to be safe is to know what’s going on around you. The more familiar you are with your settings, the more aware you’ll be of the potential hazards. Knowing your surroundings and being aware of potential hazards will help you and your colleagues avoid dangerous situations.
  • Keep emergency exits clear. Never, under any circumstance, place any object in front of an emergency exit, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Ensure that the pathway to the emergency shutoff is clear in the case that something needs to be powered down immediately.

If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthy, you may file a confidential complaint with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and ask for an inspection. If possible, bring the conditions to your employer’s attention.

As regulated by OSHA and under federal law, you are entitled to a safe workplace. Your employer must provide a workplace free of unknown health and safety hazards. If you are concerned, you have the right to speak up without fear of retaliation.

 

Written by Dami Falade

Workplace Injury Prevention

Accidents at the workplace are common and disrupt the flow of daily activity. Although workers health is a top priority when an incident occurs, it’s important to consider evaluating other factors such as the condition of workplace and equipment during that time as well.  Reinforcing safety policies is one of the best preventative measures when it comes to reducing workplace injuries.  Below are 5 workplace injury prevention tips:

  1. Implement a safety and wellness plan

Complying with standards and creating a culture of safety will lower the probability of an accident and increase productivity. Safety should not be expected from employees without proper training. By providing safety training you’re teaching employees how to work safely and demonstrating that safety is a priority at the workplace. 

  1. Assess safety vulnerabilities

Every industry has unique hazards and a critical part of safety plan implementation is predicting which accidents are most likely to happen at your workplace. Researching previous injuries that occurred can help you find a pattern and give you an idea what areas need safety policies reevaluations.

  1. Talk safety

Use every opportunity available to talk about safety with employees and management. Staff meetings, conference calls, employee newsletters and any other form of internal communication should be utilized to share the importance of safety. Another way to keep workers motivated is by rewarding them for abiding safety policies or for going accident-free for a certain time period.

  1. Staff accordingly

Ensuring you have the appropriate amount of workers for specific jobs or tasks is a simple tactic that can heavily reduce overworking employees which leads to cutting corners and unsafe practices.

  1. Maintain a clean workplace

Keeping equipment organized and safety equipment visible allows easy access for workers to use. Designated spill cleanup stations should be assigned if necessary in the industry.

Accidents are unpredictable but you can train your team to work in a fashion that creates a safer workplace. Being prepared and knowing what to do in case of an accident can reduce the severity of injuries if they occur.

At Nova Medical Centers, we solely focus on occupational health. We pride ourselves in delivering exceptional services and helping our clients prioritize their health and safety needs. Contact us for more information about any of our services. Our skilled and friendly staff members are ready to meet all your occupational health needs.

 

Written by Nayda Sanchez

activity, backhoe, bailer, big, black, blue, brown, bucket, build, clay, closeup, cloud, construction, development, dig, digger, dipper, dirt, dredge, earth, equipment, excavate, excavation, excavator, ground, heavy, horizontal, industrial, industry, ladle, land, machine, machinery, mining, move, outdoor, pipe, pipeline, pit, power, scoop, shovel, site, sky, soil, teeth, trench, work, yellow

How to Prevent Trenching and Excavation Injuries

nova blog, osha ,beryllium, work, worker, work safety, occupational medicine, health, safety

What You Need To Know: OSHA’s Final Rule on Beryllium Standard

blog, nova medical, occ health, fall at work, injury at work, 20s, accident, builder, building, caucasian, compensation, construction, contractor, fall, falling, fracture, hardhat, horizontal, house, indoors, injury, insurance, job, ladder, leg, male, man, manual, men, occupation, one, outdoors, pain, people, person, safety, serious, site, twenties, wincing, worker, working

How to Report a Work-Related Injury

Heat Stress: How to Prevent Occupational Heat-Related Injuries