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How to Cultivate Safety Compliance

What are some steps you can take to cultivate safety compliance in your company?  Whether you’re the owner of your facility, part of the management team, or part of the general workforce, your safety and the safety of others is critical to the operation of your business.

Cultivate Safety Compliance

When we talk about safety compliance, we must recognize the fact that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has provided standards for employers to follow in order to assure the safety and health of workers. Employers are responsible for assessing the hazards in the workplace and developing and implementing controls to protect their workers. OSHA’s responsibility is to monitor those actions through inspections and their worker complaint process. 

There are many ways to cultivate safety compliance in your workplace. Here's the top four methods SafeLink suggests to employers:

  1. Assess your health and safety program in order to determine where improvements and enhancements need to be made. If your safety policies aren’t clear to your workers and applied consistently, it will be difficult to expect workers to comply. Compliance Risk Assessment
  2. Learn from others’ mistakes by looking at the OSHA citations for your specific industry. Looking at the most common standards cited by OSHA can help you ensure that you assess those programs in particular and take action to ensure compliance.
  3. Stay current. Know how technology and research continue to advance safety in the workplace. New standards continue to evolve as the workplace changes, and as materials change, as well as technology changes. These changes improve some hazards but are causing others, such as musculoskeletal disorders.  This creates the need for employers to continuously assess the hazards in their workplace and develop new safety policies to control the new hazards. Improve Your Safety Program Through Your Incident Investigation Procedure.
  4. Train workers on the controls established to eliminate or minimize hazards. Employers shouldn’t presume that a new worker has been adequately trained even if they have 20 years of experience in the tasks they perform. Training is key to the success of your safety compliance.

Keep in mind, it is up to management to set the tone for how safety will be received and complied with in a facility.  If the employees see their managers not following safety policies, not wearing the required PPE, or not enforcing safety policies then it will be very difficult to cultivate safety compliance. Management must lead by example. For instance, if safety eyewear is required in an area, then administrative personnel, guests, management, and anyone else entering that area must wear safety eyewear.

OSHA has become much more active in inspections, questioning managers about how safety policies are enforced.  Usually an employer has a disciplinary procedure if someone doesn’t show up for work, shows up late, doesn’t follow other rules, but not following safety rules should also be a part of that disciplinary procedure.  Another factor for employers to consider is a consistent application of the safety policies. Workers should be held accountable for following safety policies; however, employees don’t take kindly to being reprimanded for something that they’ve seen other employees get away with.  Be consistent in your enforcement.

Implementing the Hierarchy of Controls

Consider these benefits of cultivating safety compliance: 

  • Employee training saves money by reducing injuries and incidents as it can result in lower insurance costs.
  • Safety training can boost an employee’s morale.
  • It can increase productivity by making employees feel like their employer cares about their well-being.
  • Workplace safety training will reduce employee downtime due to injury or illness, thus eliminating the need for employers to replace skilled workers who have been injured.
  • Proper employee training will help businesses avoid citations which result in large fines. Disgruntled employees are a leading cause of OSHA inspections.
  • Most importantly, workplace safety training helps ensure workers go home safe to their families.

We hope that you will be proactive in cultivating safety compliance in your workplace.  Contact SafeLink Consulting if you need assistance.

Top 5 Safety Compliance Issues for Due Diligence.

Learn more about what SafeLink Consulting can do to help your business with compliance services. 

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