Strengthening Your Safety Management Plan for the Workplace

workplace-safety-tipsThere are multiple challenges that both employers and employees face in the workplace, and of course one of these is to ensure that everyone is safe on the job.  Despite this challenge, it’s possible to take simple measures that can add structure to a safety management program and drastically reduce accidents.  The following general tips are a good starting point if you want to promote a safety culture in your organization.

Design the Workplace Well

Keeping people safe on the job starts with designing a workplace that can accommodate both people and machinery.  Ensure everyone is familiar with and comfortable with the work environment through safety training and coaching, and solicit their ideas on how to improve it.

Eliminate Workplace Stress

There are many different stressors at work, including long hours, employee conflict, and heavy workloads.  These stressors can lead to depression and sleeping difficulties among other issues, all of which can affect concentration at work and result in accidents.  Get to know your employees on an individual basis, and find out what stresses them most about the job.  Then help them work through solutions to those stressors.  A little stress management will go a long way towards improving alertness (and safety) on the job.

Keep the Work Area Clean50 things you must know about safety leadership

A cluttered workplace reduces productivity on the job and can result in slip and trip hazards, as well as add to confusion.  Ensure that all work areas are kept neat and clean at all times, and especially at the end of a shift.  be sure that tools and equipment used throughout the shift are put away after use.

Provide Written Instructions

Written instructions (normally in the form of SOPs) are important for providing structure to workplace activities, and they act as a great reference tool to boot!  With these in place, you can be certain that all employees have opportunity to know what is expected of them and you will have enhanced your process safety management plan.  If you want to go to the next level, assign development and modifications of these documents to the members of your team.  And be sure to include your team in the initial writing and revisions of your Job Safety Analyses.  The more they own that process, the more they own safety.

Encourage Employees to Report Safety Deficiencies

It’s important for all employees to understand that safety is everyone’s job.  Empower them to report anything they think can pose a safety or health risk no matter how trivial it may be.  And be sure to follow up and follow through on everything they report.  If they know you’re listening, they’ll be more likely to report these on an ongoing basis.

Keeping your workers safe is a matter of ensuring quality safety communication with and among all employees, and letting everyone know that they are responsible for their own safety as well as the safety of their coworkers.

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About the Author

safetyBUILT-IN is the safety-leadership learning and development division of SCInc. We believe sustainable safety performance is best achieved through a core-values based safety culture, and that culture must be driven by leadership. Our safety-leadership programs are competency-based, and focused on performance outcomes. We believe in building capability and ownership into our client organizations—as well as sustainability into our programs—so that our clients can continue running those programs long after we’re out of the picture. Our emphasis is on building better leadership presence, better leadership communication and better leadership coaching by first building relationships of trust with people and learning how to engage them on the level of their core values and beliefs.