Are you starting a new business, or trying to establish a safety program for your current business? It’s an important question, and you might already be thinking about it. If not, it would be a good idea to get started soon!
First thing you’re probably wondering is “Where do I start?”.
Perhaps you are doing research before starting a safety program. Before deciding what type of program or specific safety items your business will need, it’s important to take an inventory of the risks that you face on a daily basis and assess where you can make changes for the best. Once you’ve completed your risk assessments, you can start to decide what changes you’d like to make.
What’s the next step? You need a safe environment for your employees and customers, so let’s get started! One of the first things that you should do is create an emergency action plan. This plan will be used during emergencies such as fires, earthquakes, or any other emergency situations. An Emergency Action Plan is a written document that contains everything employees would need to know in order to remain safe during an emergency situation, such as evacuation instructions and where all the fire extinguishers are located. It’s important for employees to be familiar with their workplace’s EAP. In addition to EAP, the majority of companies need to have a Bloodborne Pathogens safety policy, Hazard Communication, and First Aid.
The next step is going to be to create policy and procedures and training programs pertaining to the type of work your company performs. For example, you don’t need a welding and hot-work safety policy if your company never performs hot-work. This is where the assessment comes in handy. This will help you identify which policies your company needs. Safety Programs are unique to each company depending on what type of hazards are present in the location and how many people work there. Some companies have small Safety Programs with just one or two managers. Once you’ve created written policy and procedure outlining all of the relevant safety policy and procedure, this will serve as your Safety Manual. This document will help to reduce the number of workplace accidents and injuries by stating your expectations for safe working practices. Safety manuals should be distributed to all employees and third-party workers who are on the work site.
Once safety policies have been created, begin training your employees. Safety training is the most important part of a company’s Safety Program. All new employees should receive Safety Training upon hiring, and then Safety Training should be offered regularly as a refresher to supplement the initial training. JJ Safety’s LMS Online Safety Training Platform is a great way to ensure your employees receive the training they need!
There are many good reasons to have a safety program in place. The first and most important reason is to ensure your workers are safe and go home safe at the end of the day. Safety is the top priority in every business, without it there can be no success. Safety programs help to prevent accidents that could result from a lack of knowledge in a particular area whether it’s a simple process or protocol, so having a Safety Program in place helps to ensure everyone understands what is expected of them and they have the proper training for their job.
Another important reason is OSHA. OSHA (The Occupation Safety and Health Administration) oversees the enforcement of safety in the workplace. All Safety programs must meet federal regulations which OSHA enforces. If they do not, then the business is at risk of being fined by OSHA or worse, temporarily shut down.
Studies have shown that the implementation of a health & safety program greatly increases profitability of businesses. It may seem expensive to establish a Safety Program, but the benefits of reduced cost in workers compensation premiums, OSHA fines or citations, not to mention work that needs to be redone or work that doesn’t get done at all due to injuries, greatly outweigh the cost. Safety Programs allow businesses to keep their employees safe and provide a positive working environment.
Not that you need any more reason but another final reason to implement a proper safety program for your workplace is that it’s just plain, the right thing to do. Safety is a value that should exist in all businesses.
It’s important to remember that risk and hazards never take a holiday, so neither should Safety. Safety needs a place at the table, a seat on the bus, and a spot in your budget.