How about starting off this year with a pledge for a banner safety year in your workplace? We all start off with the best of intentions, but somehow, things happen and our plans go up in smoke! OSHA reports that on a typical workday:
- 17 workers are killed on the job (traumatic injury).
- 137 more workers die of occupation-related injuries.
- 17,138 workers are injured on the job.
- Estimates show employers pay almost $1 billion per year for direct costs of workplace injuries.
- There are hidden costs such as retraining employees and lost productivity due to workplace injuries.
These and many other reasons contribute to the idea that safety policies and procedures should be executed with good planning and follow-up. First of all, new employees should have safety training from the very first day on the job. They should understand safety basics and the particular hazards of their specific job responsibilities.
Companies should pay close attention to how many incident reports and safety complaints are issued: if there is an increase in near-misses or accidents, what departments are involved, what types of injuries, or if there is a certain group that seems to be reporting more accidents or close calls. Refresher training should be given to groups that have experienced mishaps.
Employees should know they have the right to voice complaints to their compliance officer, if they feel policies are not being followed. It is the responsibility of the compliance officer to investigate the issues and correct them, if necessary. Safety committee members should establish good safety and health programs that can help prevent worker compensation claims.
One of the key factors in workplace safety is providing the right Protective gear. Employees should understand how their PPE works and why it is necessary to wear it at all times while on the job. This is an important compliance issue and affects everyone if someone gets hurt due to not wearing his/her protective gear.
This is a great time to plan for flawless safety performances at work. Hopefully, this time next year, you will be getting ready for another completely “accident-free work year”!