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Supporting Your Safety Program
Does your business have a safety program? Does company management support what that safety program says? Is safety practiced in your work place? The truth of the matter is that a safety program is as good as trash on the ground unless management supports safety in the work place and knows and enforces the company safety program.
So what does this mean? Performing regular safety inspections during the work week helps to show your company’s commitment to safety. During your walk through you will be surprised what you can find. Inspecting your building and machinery along with observing your employees will help to keep a safer work environment. Putting an emphasis on workplace inspections and identifying hazards will also show your employees that management cares about their safety. This will encourage employees to “buy-in” to the company safety program. The more that employees participate in the safety program, the more effective it will be.
Supporting your safety program goes further than just watching out for hazards. You must also enforce the safety program. What does enforcing a safety program mean? It means making management and employees familiar with the requirements of the program and implementing disciplinary action if anybody fails to follow the requirements. The rules must be enforced for management just as much as they are for employees. Safety culture comes from the top down, so management has the responsibility to set the example for the rest of the employees. In addition, OSHA will not view your safety program as effective unless there is documented evidence that it is being enforced. This means that you should have employee write-ups and other evidence on file so that you can show an OSHA inspector. Enforcement actions can be anything from a write-up all the way up to termination for extreme offenders. This is not a fun part of your job as a business owner or manager, but it is a necessary action. Disciplining employees shows your support of the program and helps to change the culture of your business so that safety is made a priority. Changing your safety culture in your business saves you time and keeps production high, saving you money and making you money at the same time.
Implementing a safety program and building a safety culture takes time and effort, but lower injury rates, insurance premiums, OSHA citations, and frustration will be your reward.