A workplace culture of safety sounds like a comforting concept but let’s face it: It can be talked about a lot with little movement – not purely from a commitment perspective but also because people often don’t know where to even begin in their planning. At SOS Technologies, we’ve audited a fair amount of workplaces (offices and manufacturing facilities alike) to give them a sense of the areas in need for improvement, which is invaluable to minimize the risk of painful OSHA fines later on.
We’d like to share some of the core steps to consider in building the workplace culture of safety everyone can believe in. And of course, don’t forget to bring in one of our safety consultants from SOS to help you see it through.
- Start At The Top
If the boss doesn’t buy in on total safety across the board, it’s a near certainty that the employees won’t either. So if you’re at the top of the company hierarchy or close to it, think about the goals you want to achieve for safety in various departments. We recommend you not confine this to your own bubble, however. Enlist the input of department heads earlier rather than later – what are they hearing out there in the hallways of the office or on the factory floor? Talking to these managers means you’ll have a much greater chance that you have everyone moving in the same direction and believing in the mission versus you dictating the way things ought to be to them.
- Pay A Little Now Or Pay A Lot With OSHA Later
Along these same lines, action includes the financial commitment from within to address safety concerns promptly. So get your mindset right on investment in relation to safety. Prioritizing is understandable, but cutting corners is not. You don’t want to receive an OSHA violation fine later on because you thought you could completely avoid properly investing to address the matter.
- Actions, Not Just Words
It’s easy to talk about what you want the workplace culture of safety to be, but seeing is believing. So even if it’s a small improvement, it’s critical that you demonstrate and communicate where such improvements are happening as part of the overall safety agenda. Don’t just use a big speech to roll out your goals to the rest of the team. Show how you’re achieving steps forward on safety over and over again so that the entire company understands where you want to go to become a safety culture and how you’re getting there – key to their belief in your commitment.
- Keep The Lines Of Communication After Rollout Open
Consider implementing a Safety Committee that meets on a regular basis after the major improvements and initiatives have taken place. Safety isn’t a one-time thing, after all, so don’t let those department heads wander too far before you get them back into the fold to reconvene. You want them sharing as much as possible about the potential risks that still linger or new ones that may arise.
Let’s expand that concept of safety education and communication to the rest of your organization too, though. You don’t have to be heavy-handed about this in a micromanagement type of way, but you should be consistently knowing how much knowledge your team has in how to avoid risky behavior in dangerous areas of operation such as an area frequented by forklifts or occupied by heavy machinery as well as labeling materials that may be hazardous. Employee surveys or small group discussions by department should be considered to help you gauge where their knowledge is strong or where it’s lacking in certain areas.
In addition, invite an ongoing dialogue with your team and reward those who suggest new initiatives on safety, whether you’re able to implement them at this moment or not. Don’t pass it off with a mere “thank you, we’ll look into that,” and then never follow-up with the individual trying to do their part in building a workplace culture of safety.
- Injuries Happen, But Can We Minimize More Of Them From Happening Today?
People are going to get injured. That’s just a fact of life, no matter how hard we prepare. Still, it’s difficult to be seen as a workplace culture of safety if you are only responding to injuries rather than preventing them. A misstep that some people make is to get safety equipment in place or go through safety training with us once and then let too much time pass between a refresh of first aid supplies, training newly hired employees or having a more recent comprehensive audit of their facility. Speaking of which…
Get A Partner In Planning And Doing – You Don’t Have To Do This Alone!
We know you have a long list of responsibilities that have you pressed for time. So even as you need to be more aware of the road ahead in planning and implementing steps to becoming a workplace culture of safety, you have a true partner to make that transformation real: SOS Technologies.
If you find yourself saying, “We did that a couple of years ago” in referencing new safety initiatives of any kind, there’s a significant drop-off in safety commitment that needs to be strengthened. Today. Make the call to SOS now to get your new people the proper CPR training and training in AED operation, to receive an OSHA evaluation and an update on your first aid equipment. To set it all in motion, call SOS today at 888.705.6100.