Workplace safety isn’t just for manufacturers and factories. All businesses must adhere to OSHA standards. When it comes to having a safe workplace for every employee, in every business setting, here are five tips to consider.
1.) Launch an official safety program and have everyone participate.
For a safety program to be successful, there needs to be buy-in from the top. However, safety programs are not only the responsibility of supervisors or safety managers. This means everyone must take part to keep the workplace free from hazards. Individual employees can do a lot to take accident prevention into their own hands. Seasoned employees have valuable experience to spot potential safety hazards. Newer employees may bring a different perspective and spot something overlooked by long-time pros. It is important to create a culture that is open to suggestions. Managers should encourage employees to ask questions or speak up if they see something unsafe. For example, if an employee hesitates to ask a clarifying question on a safety procedure and then an easily preventable accident could occur.
2.) Know your DART rate and how it affects the likeliness of an OSHA inspection.
DART rate stands for days away, restrictions or transfers. The higher the number of incidents that require days away from work, job restrictions or job transfers, the higher your DART rate will be. Along with your incident rate, OSHA uses your dart rate to compare your safety performance with other businesses. If you have a high DART rate, you are more likely to be targeted for a comprehensive OSHA inspection.
3.) Meet regularly on safety.
According to OSHA, one of the most effective ways to develop a safety-minded culture is to involve employees in ongoing “toolbox talk” safety meetings. These brief, informal meetings allow the opportunity to gather workers together to alert them about potential workplace hazards. Covering small pieces at a time and providing handouts makes it more digestible. Potential topics include:
- Hand Protection
- Hand Tool Safety
- Fire Safety
- Defensive Driving Techniques
- Safe Lifting Techniques
- Accident Prevention
- Ladder Safety
- Slips and Falls
- Power Truck Safety
- Hazard Communication
- First Aid Basics
4.) Increased safety can equal decreased premiums.
If you can show that you have a robust safety program, you may be able to receive a discount on your insurance premiums. This could also be the case if your company does not have a good safety record, but you can show that you have made substantial improvements. Increased safety means less risk and less likelihood of an accident. This makes you much more appealing to underwriters.
5.) Think beyond the obvious.
We all know to think about safety when it comes to driving, operating machinery, or wearing personal protective equipment. But what about other threats? For example, workplace violence. Media coverage tends to sensationalize isolated incidents that are more shocking. However, most workplace violence consists of less newsworthy – but equally worrisome – activity. This includes threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening behavior. Over 70% of U.S workplaces do not have a formal policy addressing workplace violence. Yet, it can lead to increased workers comp costs, property damage, and negative publicity, along with decreased employee wellness.
READ MORE: [Risk Insights: Acts of Workplace Violence]
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