Safety programs are intended to inform, educate, and enhance work environments by preventing injuries and accidents. Workplace safety programs also help to instill confidence in workers by allowing them to share their concerns while learning how to best protect themselves in hazardous situations. When workers understand workplace safety procedures and why PPE requirements in the workplace exist, PPE compliance in the workplace becomes more efficient and safer for everyone. As we head into the new year, consider these OSHA tips to improve your safety program in 2020.
1. Promote a Safety Culture
Supervisors should reinforce compliance and safety improvements by setting good examples. Everyone should practice safe behaviors and follow safety program protocol, regardless of their experience or position within an organization. One of the best ways organizations can improve workplace safety is to ensure everyone knows it’s a top priority. Consider organizing events related to safety education and focus on promoting safety culture on a day-to-day basis through everyday discussions, workplace signage, and recognition of those who particularly embrace safety standards and procedures.
2. Report Health and Safety Issues
Keeping track of injuries and PPE compliance in the workplace is important. Create a simple procedure for reporting illnesses, injuries, hazards, concerns, and any incidents that could result in an injury. Ensure your organization provides opportunities for employees to report health and safety issues anonymously. Workers should be trained not only in how to perform their job duties as safely as possible, but also in how to identify and report potential safety hazards.
3. Request Worker Input Prior to Making Changes
It’s important for workers to feel included in your organization’s safety program. Invite and welcome them to play an active role in significant PPE changes or workplace safety improvements prior to and during implementation. Workers should be consulted in potential changes to equipment or materials they use regularly. Ask for feedback and input about the impact the changes will have on their safety, comfort and productivity.
4. Run Workplace Safety Inspections & Implement Hazard Controls
Routine workplace safety inspections should be conducted, and workers should be invited to identify any potential problems or concerns. Problems that arise during inspections should be documented in writing and addressed as soon as possible. Workers should be directed to choose, implement, and evaluate any solutions identified during the inspection process. Also, encourage workers to identify potential emergency situations, and create a response plan for each scenario. Procedures should be posted in a frequently visited workplace location to ensure that everyone will know what to do if an emergency occurs.
5. Create an Ongoing Safety Improvement Plan
Safety programs should be continually optimized. Develop a safety improvement plan each year, including regularly scheduled times for discussing general safety standards, concerns, and PPE usage and compliance. The ultimate goal is to create an ongoing dialogue and iterative approach to workplace safety. As processes, equipment, and team members change, so too will your safety program. Allowing time and effort for ongoing assessments and improvements will prevent potential risks and ensure that safety programs remain applicable and effective. It can be challenging to implement and optimize a safety program in the workplace but investing time in these steps can significantly reduce injuries and increase productivity. At Ansell, we’re here to help. AnsellGUARDIAN® is our proprietary service to help companies select the right Personal Protective Equipment solutions and improve their safety and business performance. Request an assessment and see how we can help you improve workplace safety and develop your safety program for 2020.