Workplace safety programs are indispensable to prevent job-related injuries and illnesses and ensure a safe and comfortable space for employees to work. Workers’ compensation insurance that is provided on the basis of a medical records review is meant to provide economic support to injured employees. Though such benefits are available, employers and employees must equally focus on fostering a safe workplace culture. Workplace safety initiatives can be effective only if workers support them, understand why such policies are important, and follow them fastidiously. Many employers find it challenging to engage employees in these safety programs. Experts in the field point out that employers themselves could encourage employee participation by regarding the latter as active, involved participants in safety programs rather than as problems they must control.
How can employers get a more favorable response from their employees?
- Commit to safety at the workplace: Getting a commitment from everyone involved to safety and wellness is the first step in creating a safety program. Include the importance of workplace safety in your organization’s mission statement. This will give workers the impression that you really care for their wellbeing.
- Identify possible hazards and evaluate risks: Talk to your employees to learn about things they may have noticed that are not quite obvious to you. Inspect the workplace thoroughly to spot hazardous situations. Hazards can be:
- Those related to the workplace, as for example, a workshop’s layout
- Environmental hazards, such as smoke, dust, fumes and so on associated with the work carried out
- Activity hazards, which include risks associated with machinery used by the employees
- Get everyone involved: When starting a safety campaign, get everyone involved and explain the importance of making the workplace safer, healthier, and more efficient.
- Ensure meetings are productive: Make meetings more productive and insightful by reviewing essential safety procedures. Don’t let the employees form the impression that meetings are a mere formality. Impress upon your workers how important such meetings are to ensure workplace safety.
- Promote voluntary participation: If you want your safety initiatives to be successful, encourage willing participation on the part of the employees. Don’t try to discipline them into doing it because it can only create negative feelings and tension.
- Ensure that employees understand the reason behind your policies and procedures: Blind acceptance and following of rules and procedures by your employees is not a good trend. They should understand the logic behind them or else they could end up ignoring hazards not included in the procedures.
- Have written programs and processes: Clearly stipulate safety requirements for employees to follow. All job descriptions must be clear and specifically state the issues and requirements regarding safety and health responsibilities.
- Make safety training programs interesting: Whatever safety training programs you introduce must be applicable to the employees’ daily work experience. Only then will they find it interesting and be persuaded to follow.
- Ensure the right form of supervision: In any company, productivity is important and most companies have separate supervisors for safety and production. This could confuse the workers who find it difficult to decide whether to prioritize safety or production. Experts suggest that employers should aim for safe production.
The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) of 1970 requires employers to be responsible for providing safe and healthy workplaces for their employees. OSHA helps ensure these conditions by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. OSHA administration has invited all Americans to participate in their Safe + Sound Week to be observed from August 13 – 19, 2018. More than 200 businesses and organizations are partnering with OSHA to promote the importance of safety and health programs. To learn more about the program, resources and tools to help plan and promote safety events, you can visit the Administration’s website, www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek.
Safety at the workplace should be the first priority of employers as well as employees. Whether severe or not, report all incidents and investigate what actually happened. A thorough investigation helps to determine the causes of the incident; identify what is to be done to prevent/reduce the chance of such an occurrence in the future; take remedial action and monitor results.
A medical record review company assisting workers’ comp lawyers knows how challenging it is for employers when employees are injured / sick and are forced to stay away from work. Therefore implementing a safety and health program is an effective way to minimize injuries and illnesses, and improve productivity in the organization. An effective program also ensures employee satisfaction and reduces costs associated with on-the-job injuries.