In any company, a consistent and meaningful approach to safety always begins with a commitment from the upper levels of management. If owners and supervisors think maintaining a safe workplace or job site is important, that mindset will extend to the entire organization. OSHA has created a helpful step-by-step guide for management personnel who are interested learning what it takes to implement a safety focus and see it through to completion. This resource highlights four key stages in the process.
Communicate your commitment – Workers, lower management, and site supervisors need to hear your message of safety-first often. Start company-wide meetings and other communications with a safety-related discussion or message. If you use subcontractors or other vendors, they need to hear it also.
Set achievable goals – Each company’s specific safety needs are different, so these will vary based on every unique situation. But creating realistic goals and measuring progress gives you targets that can either be met or missed. Until you define what you’re after, you won’t have a clear idea of where you’re headed.
Devote the resources to make it happen – Only management can set aside the funds to make change happen. Resources you’re using to create a culture of safety could include paying for training, upgrading safety equipment, and allowing for time for every employee to participate in training. Dedicating funds and time are crucial building blocks that support any successful safety program.
Expect performance and recognize successes – Once you’ve made your commitment, set your goals, and devoted the funds and time to achieve them, expect your employees to follow through. This involves encouraging open communication on safety-related issues, rewarding employees who report unsafe conditions on job sites. As you make progress towards reaching company-wide safety goals, recognize the people who have bought in and are working hard to make it happen.
Creating a culture of safety takes time and a strong commitment from those in a position to make culture changes happen. With time and effort, the focus on safety within your company will grow, making it a safer environment for workers and reducing the financial liability that unsafe conditions create for business owners. If you’re interested in developing a company-specific safety plan for your business feel free to give us a call at 864.905.7835. We’d be glad to talk with you to learn more about your needs and how we can help you implement your vision of a providing a safer workplace for your employees.