Safety . . . . Just How Important Is It?
Establishing a workplace where employees work to
and embrace a robust safety-driven culture through
demonstration at times can be a difficult issue
for organizations to deal with and establish. There
can be many reasons why it continues to elude some,
and for others the rewards continue to be seen in
employee morale, trust and in their accident and
near miss reporting numbers. Understanding and supporting
five key areas are critical to most any organization's
WorkPlace safety success.
Training. . . . what
your employees don't know is hard to enforce.
If a rule or standard can't be enforced, it's
hard to hold employees accountable. This fundamental
issue is compounded by the fact that if individuals
cannot be held accountable, then neither can the
organization. With regard to Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement, well
that's another story!
Establishing Safety Culture.
. . . once training has occurred and employees understand
the OSHA requirements, an organization can move
toward the goal of establishing a Safety Culture.
To determine the current state of safety health
in your organization, an assessment could be conducted.
The assessment can provide your organization the
information needed to identify strengths and weaknesses.
The leadership team then has empirical basis to
establish goals to meet the needs of the organization
with the appropriate levels of focus and priority.
. . . change efforts need the involvement and support
of the management team to reach the intended outcome.
Senior level commitment is paramount to establishing
a strong safety culture and communicating it. By
sponsoring the resources needed, a sense of importance
will begin to grow within the organization.
Often employees will question whether their management
is committed, or just involved, especially when
trying to meet production goals. This situation
is so incredibly transparent to employees, and often
undermines the success of change and transition
efforts, employee motivation, and even daily operations.
. . . is quite important to the success of eliminating
workplace injuries. This takes more then just handing
out a safety manual. By involving your people in
the design and implementation of safety goals, your
employees become more committed to developing a
firsthand appreciation for safety. Their involvement
in establishing goals that will keep them safe will
likely mean more to them. By jointly working with
your people, your organization as a whole will grow
from the experience. This growth will likely lead
to better decisions in the field and a sense of
governorship that means that they will look out
for each other.
Establishing a Safety Program.
. . . A successful safety program should be accessible
to the workforce. As part of your program, it's
important for Safety Department personnel to be
available and seen in the workplace. Their involvement
during pre- and post-job briefs can go a long way
to help guide the organization in addressing safety
issues prior to work commencing.
Clear safety rules and guidelines provide direction
that errs on the side of conservatism. Issues brought
to your safety department for resolution need just
that . . . . resolution. Decisions need to be made
that provide employees a safe work environment,
supported by management, and embraced by the organization.
These areas make up the necessary components that
support and maintain your company's workplace
safety culture. At the WorkPlace Cornerstone Group
we have focused experience in evaluating and establishing,
with our clients, a roadmap to implement and successfully
achieve high performance in each critical area of