How to Optimize Workplace Safety Programs Regardless of the Industry

| July 07, 2022

Safety and security can boost your employees' morale and increase productivity for your business. One common misconception is that workplace safety is only for industrial plants and manufacturing companies.

But federal and local regulations have strict requirements for organizations in all economic sectors. This article explores tips for maintaining workplace safety while ensuring compliance.

Education and Safety Training for Staff

All employees should be ready to respond to emergencies whenever they arise. That means companies must provide training to ensure their staff understands workplace risks and hazards. 

You can draft safety policies and invest in expensive equipment to protect your staff. But without safety training, it can be challenging to keep the workplace safe during an emergency.

For example, do employees know how to exit the building when there's an emergency? Do they understand the safety signage in the workplace, and are they equipped to respond to specific hazards? 

Before implementing safety training programs, you should evaluate OSHA standards. Keep in mind some states may have additional requirements. Also, the rules may vary depending on your industry.

OSHA compliance is essential for any professional organization. According to DiNicola Insurance Services, non-compliance can incur thousands of dollars in fines and a tarnished reputation.

On the other hand, training programs that comply with OSHA standards can boost staff morale and maximize productivity. Employees appreciate an organization that cares about their welfare and well-being.

Develop Security and Safety Policies and Procedures

Develop a safety and security policy to ensure your response to emergencies is effective. Your action plan will depend on the threats and disasters most likely to happen in your work environment. You can create procedures and protocols for natural disasters, fire hazards, or vandalism.

Managers should involve employees in the planning of the organization's safety programs. By including your staff in developing safety strategies, you can encourage a sense of ownership and autonomy. It will compel personnel to report unsafe conditions in the workplace.

The organization should also foster a culture of safety and security. It may involve recruiting volunteers to lead their department's safety committee. The company may include a reward program to encourage everyone to take an active role in the process.

Ensure You Have Clean Workspaces to Avoid Slip Hazards

Cleaning workspaces is one of the critical measures you should take when implementing a workplace safety program. Disorganized workplaces can increase the risk of work-related injuries through slips and falls.

According to a Survey, slip and trip injuries accounted for 3.8% of debilitating injuries in the workplace. Such incidences incur a cost of 1.3 billion dollars in expenses annually through lost hours and medical bills.

The cause of most slip incidences is either loose mats or an occasional spill. Since wet and oily surfaces can be hazardous, you must always wipe the spill immediately. 

If it is impossible to wipe off the spill immediately, mark the area around the wet spot to warn other employees. Additionally, the organization should ensure floors have quality walking surfaces. All staff members should have proper footwear suitable for working on the industrial floors.

The organization's safety plan must also consider factors such as layout and lighting. Walkways should be clear of clutter to avoid tripping. Install safety lighting on stairs to improve visibility.

If you've encountered slip accidents in the workplace, take the time to analyze why the incidences happened. The analysis can help you identify patterns that you can use to address shortcomings in your safety training.

Ensure Proper Use of Equipment

Your safety training program must educate employees on the benefits of proper use of equipment. Staff must understand the purpose of the tools and should never use them for any other function. By observing operational protocols, you can reduce accidents considerably. 

The organization must also equip employees with safety gear. If you fail to provide protective equipment, a court of law may place the liability on the organization.

Regulations have different requirements for protective equipment that may vary depending on your industry. For example, if you are working in buildings with asbestos, employees must wear PPE and clean up afterward.

Therefore, organizations must understand the PPE requirements for their industry. That includes being conversant with both federal and state regulations.

Implement Controlled Access Systems to Optimize Safety

Another way to uphold security and safety in your organization is to deploy CCTVs and access control applications. Such systems can protect the workplace from vandalism, theft, and accidents. 

A well-implemented control access system will provide real-time monitoring to identify safety and security breaches. Staff may use keyless entry, which helps track the movement of personnel across the industrial plant.

You can enhance the safety system by integrating fire detection and panic button features. By implementing a 24/7 monitoring system, you can prevent accidents from occurring.

Ensure a Coordinated Approach to Workplace Training

After implementing a workplace training program, the organization must sustain the initial momentum to uphold safety at all times. That will require a coordinated approach that includes continuous training for employees.

You will need to update your training consistently by identifying weaknesses in the safety policies. Therefore, monitoring the results of your previous efforts is crucial for the organization's safety.

Additionally, safety requirements in different industries are continually changing. As a result, managers must remain current on government policies.

A coordinated approach may involve implementing continuous education programs for members of staff. The organization can streamline the process of updating its systems with proper documentation. 

You should maintain records for specific safety programs such as fall protection and asbestos awareness. Proper documentation will facilitate tracking certifications and ensuring renewal when the permit expires. You can consult a workplace safety professional to deploy safety systems that meet industry standards and government regulations.

The law stipulates that maintaining safety in the workplace is the responsibility of the organization's management. Managers must, therefore, coordinate and update their safety systems periodically.

If you are reopening your business after a disaster, you need to develop a comprehensive response plan. Contact DiNicola Insurance Services for Risk Management Solutions in San Francisco, CA.