In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is concerned with knowing that every employee in the workplace is safe. Training and practice are the cornerstones of workplace safety. Management of any business, large or small, must determine how its safety program will be implemented. There should be a site-specific, employee-specific analysis. Small businesses must comply with OSHA regulations, although there may be slightly different standards. By putting good safety training programs into practice, businesses can avoid penalties, improve morale and increase productivity.
Having good safety leaders is a major factor in a successful safety program. They should have excellent communication skills. They need to be educated in all safety facets of the workplace and familiar with any past issues that have occurred. Each employee must be taught that safety is foremost. They should have adequate training before beginning any job where there is risk.
We all know how difficult it is to learn a new job: the amount of duties each person is responsible for, how to perform the job safely and efficiently, becoming familiar with manuals, and company policies, such as drug testing, etc. If the job has risks, such as handling hazardous materials, or exposure to other workplace injuries, the new employee must learn all about what type of personal protective equipment, (i.e., hardhats, gloves, glasses, etc.) how to wear it, and take care of it, and when to replace it if damaged.
Retention is an important word in safety training. The leader must determine these things in judging the trainees:
- Were they really listening?
- Do they understand the proper ergonomics? If the job requires twisting, lifting, or awkward positions, will they know what to do?
- Is the workplace free from trips, slips, and fall hazards?
- Has the noise factor been taken under consideration?
- Do they realize the importance of PPE?
- How well did they really comprehend?
- Do they know what to watch for?
All workers must respond by giving the instructor the proper attention:
- Listen to your safety instructor. He/she is there to teach you how to be safe.
- Pay Attention! Your training is for your benefit.
- Do Not Rush!
- Avoid monotony. Try to vary your routine or ask to rotate duties.
- Be Careful All the Time – You can use caution for years, and then get hurt by not paying attention for only a couple of seconds.
- Don’t Take Risks! – A show of bravado won’t help you win the respect of co-workers.
- Don’t Cut Corners on Safety!
- Use Common Sense.
- Again, listen to your leader and co-workers.
- Look out for your co-workers.
- If you see an unsafe act, tell your supervisor.
- If in doubt, check it out!
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions about things you don’t clearly understand.
The goal of everyone is to do a day’s work and go home safely at the end of the day. Follow the rules of safety and everyone wins! Be a part of your company’s safety TEAM – Together Everyone Accomplishes More!