Your employees deserve to feel protected on the job, even when the job itself may come with certain risks. Regardless of your industry, it’s imperative that you create and maintain a safe workplace. In fact, OSHA requires you to do so. But even if you’ve taken the steps to implement a work safety program, you still might not be doing enough to protect your workers (and ultimately, your business). Below, you’ll find a few of the most common mistakes companies make with their safety and health programs. Be sure to avoid these missteps at all costs.
- Being reactive rather than proactive
All too frequently, companies will wait until an incident has occurred to take action and implement safety measures. But maintaining a safe workplace is all about prevention, not response. Instead of waiting for an accident to happen, safety supervisors need to do everything they can to keep accidents from happening in the first place. For instance, supervisors should conduct continuous assessments of industrial safety equipment and the work environment as a whole with potential hazards in mind. Not only will this keep workers safe but it will send the message that their well-being truly matters.
- Failing to educate employees
Proper training is key to maintaining a safe workplace. All employees must be on the same page. Unfortunately, many supervisors make assumptions about what workers may or may not already know, chalking up many safety measures to plain common sense. But unless these managers explicitly tell their workers when to wear their protective apparel or how to recognize which conditions require additional safety equipment, they simply may not have the knowledge to properly protect themselves. What may seem obvious to a safety supervisor may not be so crystal clear to an employee whose job doesn’t require them to stay on top of the latest health and safety protocols. Make sure employee training is consistent across the board and that training is an ongoing process, rather than a one-time session.
- Forgetting to communicate
In both large corporations and smaller businesses alike, employees in different departments may not interact very much. While understandable, this separation can lead to confusion or anxiety. In some cases, it could cause an employee in a non-safety sector to feel self-conscious about seeking out a safety supervisor or hesitant to report a hazard. Therefore, it’s imperative that the lines of communication between departments are kept open and that all employees understand the proper procedures for raising safety concerns. It’s usually a good idea to facilitate introductions and ongoing interactions between safety supervisors and employees in other departments. When all employees feel comfortable and up-to-date on protocol, they’ll be more productive and happier at work overall.
Even if you have a well-regarded health and safety program, accidents can still occur if you don’t avoid these mistakes. Make sure you show your employees that they matter and that you’ll do everything you possibly can to protect them from harm.