The Keys to a Successful Safety Program
No matter what business you’re in, a strong foundation for success should include an effective safety program. Reasons for having one are numerous – overall, it motivates, supports, and provides employees with a safe work environment to reduce workplace incidents and accidents.
A written safety program, available to every worker, is truly a win-win for employers and employees and delivers many long-term benefits. For employers, a safety program increases productivity, improves employee morale and reduces absenteeism. For employees, company training and safety education fosters a feeling of support and empowerment.
So, what makes a safety program successful? While there are plenty of resources available from organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help you get started, every safety program contains 3 Keys to Success: it prevents injuries, communicates procedures, and creates a safety culture.
1. Prevents Injuries
The best workplace health and safety program is one that keeps employees from getting injured to start! As OSHA points out, nearly all workplace incidents, injuries, and even fatalities, are preventable.
These 4 preventive measures, when clearly communicated, help prevent incidents and injuries. For example:
- Reduce the likelihood of slips, trips and falls by providing personal protection equipment (PPE) and offering employee safety training and resources that reinforce best practices.
- Develop hazard communications to highlight specific potential hazards workers may encounter.
- Implement workplace wellness programs. Happy and healthy employees are less likely to experience a workplace injury.
- Perform regular workplace inspections and job hazard analyses (JHA) to identify existing hazards and any potential risks.
Preventive measures, including the use of PPE, reduce the chance of worker injury.
2. Communicates Procedures
Providing clear and consistent communication ensures employees know what to expect and what to do to stay safe on the job. Most safety programs include written policies, processes and procedures that outline safety requirements for employees to follow.
Here are examples of the most common safety programs (samples can be found in our online Safety Toolkit for employers):
- Emergency Action Plan
- Fall Protection
- Job Hazard Analysis Plan
- General Safety and Health Program
- Hand and Power Tools
- Ladder Safety
- Machine Safeguarding
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Return to Work
When a hazard or injury crops up, having clearly communicated steps in place reassures employees that your company is invested in safety and the well-being of every worker. Simple, yet powerful communication tools boost morale and gives workers confidence knowing that they’re in good hands.
3. Creates a Safety Culture
While safety ultimately starts at the top, it’s important that business owners, managers and workplace safety committees collaborate to demonstrate the benefits of a safety program. Bringing in a safety committee and other employee representatives gives workers a voice in maintaining a safe work environment.
At the end of the day, the success of a safety program comes down to one thing: Support that everyone buys into. You could have the most comprehensive safety program in place, but if employees are not educated, motivated or inspired, it will not be an effective safety tool.
Looking for Guidance or have a safety question? Is your company interested in rolling out and maintaining a safety program that makes a real impact? We offer simple workplace safety toolkits as well as well as customizable Safety Program Guides for our policyholders. Get in touch with a FFVA Mutual Safety Solutionist today to learn more.