5 Essential Steps for Creating a Comprehensive Workplace Safety Strategy
Safety in the workplace has never been more important. It doesn’t matter what size business you are, how many employees you’ve got or what industry and nature of work you’re involved in, the safety of everyone involved at every level is paramount, and failure to acknowledge this can lead you to some very serious trouble.
As horrible as it sounds, as a manager or team leader, having an avoidable death in your workplace due to negligence is not something that will sit with you lightly.
However, to avoid this happening, it means coming up with a workplace strategy plan or strategy. To get you started, here are the five steps you need to take.
#1 – State Your Commitments
The first step you need to take is to make it common knowledge that your business is committing itself to having an optimal level of workplace safety. Start by making this a company-wide value and make even adapt your business’s mission statement to reflect that safety is always a key concern.
You need to make sure that every employee you have is clear that verbal encouragement will be implemented in how to be safe, as will investigations and tests to ensure everything meets the required standard.
#2 – Accessing Your Foundations
If you haven’t already implemented some kind of workplace safety assessment, apart from the ones you have to do by law, now is the time to do so. “Start by evaluating your business to see where it currently stands and the risks that your business and employees are currently at risk to” – explains Kimberly Poisson, a Safety Manager at Resumention and Huffingtonpost contributor.
Depending on the nature of your business, there may be some things you need to look into, and others you don’t. Some areas to think about include;
- Environmental concerns (chemical, air, health risks)
- Activity-based hazards (machine operation, vehicles, computers, electronics)
- Standard workplace hazards (design flaws, the layout of the building, vehicle routes)
#3 – Create a Written Manual
Okay, you’re not going to have to write an actual book, unless you have that much to say, but you need to make sure that you’ve written a hardcopy of all the rules and safety regulations that you want your business to implement into place.
This helps your business to create accountability in the event that a safety incident does take place since you’ll be able to easily refer to the manual to see what the code of conduct was for that specific situation and identify where the problem happened.
This also helps to massively minimise the risk of miscommunication and misunderstanding, since every employee can read through the document, so everybody is on the same page. Don’t forget to check your grammar to ensure your manual makes sense using tools like Grammarix.
You’ll also probably want to think about updating this safety manual about once a year, or if new tools, machinery or workplace factors are introduced to your workplace. When writing your safety documents, you can use online tools like State of Writing and PhD Writers to make sure your content is accurate and professional.
#4 – Education is Key
Once you’ve spent the time making sure that your written content is exactly how you want it, it’s now time to start educating everyone in your business to ensure they are all knowledgeable about everything to do with safety.
Initially, you’ll want to break everyone down into groups, so you can talk about things that are changing and the procedures that are in place. You’ll then want to revisit these groups, perhaps every six months or so, depending on your business, to make sure everybody remembers what the strategy is.
You’ll also want to make sure that every new employee that comes to your business is immediately brought up to scratch with the safety requirements of your workplace.
#5 – Implement and Analysis
Even though you’ve spent so much time bringing your strategy together, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to get things right the first time. “As situations unfold or employees come back to you with feedback, you’ll need to consider the impact of your strategy and whether things need to be improved or further evaluated” – says Jay Delima, a Recruiting consultant at Ukwritings.
This is a continuous process, especially when new people and processes are being implemented all the time.
As you can see, creating a workplace safety strategy from scratch doesn’t have to be a daunting or overwhelming task. Make sure you guide yourself through the process slowly and methodically to ensure that you don’t miss anything out and remember to listen to your employees since they spend most of their time in the danger zones.
Most importantly, remember that lives could be on the line, so take every step you can to ensure that doesn’t happen.