It's National Safety Month - How Is Your Company Staying Prepared?

Posted June 20, 2016

While your organization strives to work as safely as possible all year round, June is one month when we try to put a little extra emphasis on injury and illness prevention.

Good safety habits don't just keep your co-workers safe, they also save the company in costs. According to a study by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. businesses lost an estimated $250 billion in 2007 to workplace injuries. Furthermore, good safety habits also keep morale up, reduce employee turnover and raise productivity.

June is National Safety Month so to mark the occasion, here are a few things your company can do to stay safe.

Set the stage for safe habits

In the workplace, there can be a tendency to forfeit safety due to laziness or out of the idea that it somehow slows productivity. Therefore, businesses need to emphasize their commitment to safety and make it easy for their workers to practice safe habits. Let your employees know that they will never be disciplined for prioritizing safety.

A safety training program is an absolute must for all employees. Workers must also be given the right tools and equipment to work safely. This might mean providing cushioned ergonomic mats for employees who stand throughout their shift. It also means regular inspections of equipment for safety hazards.

Maintain good habits

Just keeping a workplace clean and free of clutter goes a long way to keeping employees safe. Make it a priority of your employees to keep the floor of your workplace clean, dry and free of clutter. Give one or more employees the daily responsibility of checking for trip and slip hazards.

In addition to daily workspace checks, an accident prevention program should include monthly or bi-monthly meetings on workplace safety. Regular meetings should review safety rules, potential new prevention strategies and review what to do when something does happen. Employees should be encouraged to discuss concerns and determine how to address those concerns.

Go the extra mile

Sometimes it helps to give your employees an extra push toward making the workplace safer by offering incentives. The most effective incentive programs tie rewards to specific behaviors. So for your accident prevention program, consider offering rewards to people who offer actionable safety suggestions, point out hazards and train others in safety procedures. Do not reward people for not getting sick or injured, because this can have a chilling effect on accident reporting.

Your company may also want to consider partnering with occupational medicine specialists to offer safety recommendations and help train employees on the best way to stay safe.

Like a daily inspection, it's important that your employees have good safety habits from their very first day. This means hiring individuals who are competent and have a passion for detail. A safe workplace begins with employees who follow safety guidelines and perform their jobs based on the standard procedures.

If your company needs assistance in sourcing safety-minded individuals, feel free to contact Ambassador to work with one of the leading employment agencies in the South!