How confident are you in your company’s workplace safety plan? Is it a glossy document that no one reads much less follows? Was it thrown together to satisfy someone else such as a demand in a bidding process? Or is it a program that is alive as evidenced by the safe behaviors of your employees?
How you answer the above questions could save your company thousands of dollars every year.
How Workplace Accidents Occur
Approximately 85 percent of workplace accidents occur due to unsafe behaviors of employees such as taking shortcuts, performing operations without proper training or planning and violating known safety precautions to name a few. The other 15 percent are basically physical environment problems such as equipment failures.
If the percentages were reversed and the 85 were physical problems, your work would be easy—buy better equipment. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy since you are working with unpredictable humans. This is why you need a simple and well-administered workplace safety plan can easily help you beat the 85 percent.
Why You Need A Workplace Safety Plan
Aside from helping save your employees from possibly injury, there are several other reasons why you should take the time and create a viable workplace safety plan for your company, including:
- Safety programs save you money. Not having an effective workplace safety plan is just silly. Without it, your hard earned profits can flow out to others – insurance companies, hospitals, injured workers, etc.
- Safety programs are not that hard to create. You don’t need bells and whistles to be effective (save that for later growth). You do need attention and commitment. Once you get started, it gets easier and easier.
- Managing your workers through a safety program is a lot like raising children:
- Tell them what behaviors you want to see.
- Go see if they are behaving.
- Take the necessary actions. Change behavior.
How to Create An Effective Workplace Safety Program
Creating an effective workplace safety program is a lot easier than you think. All you have to do is follow a few simple tips and your program will practically write itself. These steps include:
- Communicate to all workers your intention to have a safe workplace and exactly how that will be accomplished. (Rules, methods, standard operating procedures)
- Commit this to writing. Even a single page is enough! (When you write something, you are closer to making it real than if you just talk.)
- Make it happen. Make sure you carry out every point you have written.
- Enforce your rules, methods, and standard operating procedures.
- Go out and see if your employees are following your communicated guidelines.
- If your employees are not following your guidelines, make them change their behavior (wouldn’t you do that with your children?)
- Make sure YOU are the best model.
- Be consistent.
With the right amount of attention and commitment, you can easily create a spectacular workplace safety plan. Once you get started, you will find out it will work and your employees will respond. And the best part is: reducing unsafe behaviors can put money directly into your pocket.