What are some basic tips on how to create a proactive safety environment? Safety plans and procedures are extremely important but may also tend to be complex. Keeping safety simple as well as proactive within the workplace can not only keep safety accidents from happening but may help increase productivity and profitability. Keeley Schneider in his article “Proactive Safety Approaches for Safer Manufacturing” proposes four basic ways to keep your safety plan more proactive than reactive.
- Regular Inspections: Schneider suggests doing safety walks on a daily basis at different times throughout the day. Procedures need to be closely observed and notes need to be taken. If during one of these safety walks a problem is noted it must be addressed immediately and change must be made to all affected components. Putting off needed changes can only result in problems in the long run.
- Regular Maintenance: Unfortunately when a machine or a component of a machine starts to fail a short cut may be taken in order to avoid downtime and product deadline delays. While shortcuts may work temporarily they can cause more serious problems down the line resulting in longer down periods or even worse, worker injury. Regularly maintaining all equipment and taking the time to fix something the right way the first time will in the long term help keep production running smoothly.
- Everyone is Responsible for Safety: Employees should not be scared to report a safety incident. They should feel responsible for keeping themselves and others safe. If they are able to help solve a safety issue, such as a water spill, they should. If they are unable to safety help out a situation they need to contact someone who can.
- Place Emphasis on Safety Labeling: Because hazardous materials and equipment is required to have labels, make sure that strict importance is placed on this within the workplace. Be sure that all labels are in place before machinery is started or material containers are put away. If a warehouse is switching locations, be sure that all labeling happens before containers are moved around in order to avoid any confusion or accidents. Schneider also suggests that all MSDS sheets are filed immediately and not put off until a later time.
Being proactive in your approach to safety is a smart choice. Another way to be proactive is by installing high quality safety products that will keep accidents from happening. SlipNOT® high traction products help prevent slip and fall accidents from ever happening. The versatile metal products can be installed in new construction or can be retrofit over areas that are currently slippery.
Schneider, Keeley. “ Proactive Safety Approaches for Safer Manufacturing.” www.safety.com April 24, 2015 <http://www.safety.com/articles/proactive-safety-approaches-safer-manufacturing>
Social media is common place in today’s world and work place. Social media can be successfully used by a company to help promote and advertise company information, success stories and events. Can social media also be used within the workplace to strengthen the safety culture? An article by Terry L. Mathis on ehstoday.com talks about the success some companies have had by implementing a social media stream for employees specifically within the workplace.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification has become increasingly important and popular over the past 5-10 years. According to the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), buildings that are LEED Certified “save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy.”
Being in safety management is a difficult job in which not every safety manager appointed has been properly educated and trained to perform. How can an individual become a respected and effective safety manager if they do not necessarily have the background to do so? What are some good ways for individuals who have the proper education to relate and communicate with their workforce? A blog written by John Braun on slimplifiedsafety.com discusses three basic yet essential ways a safety manager can effectively manage a workforce as well as gain the respect needed in order to keep people listening.
Has your company been working towards compliance with the FSMA rules and regulations? In 2011 the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law and has been the most significant reform to food safety laws in years. An article written by Dr. Jennifer McEntire for Food Manufacturing Magazine explores some of the re-purposed rules that may come to pass in 2015 and how to comply with them.
One of the main purposes of an organization is to make a profit. The organization benefits and employees benefit as well. The question is this, is your company too concerned with return on investment? Will they ignore safety and put employees at risk in order to earn that short term profit? Is your company ROI (return on investment) focused or ROS (return on safety) focused?
The ASSE has created a valuable website that is an excellent resource for companies concerned with risk assessment. The Risk Assessment Institute website provides resources such as assessment flow charts, metrics, standards, research, and case studies to assist any reader in helping their facilities to stay ahead of injuries.
According to the latest report put out by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics the number of workplace injuries and illnesses in the private sector are on the decline. The report dated December 4, 2014 stated that a little more than 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in 2013 and that continues an 11 year trend (with the exception of 2012) of steadily decreasing numbers. Unfortunately 3 million reported injuries and illnesses is still a massive number of people hurt or sick. However the good news with this number is that even though we are in a state of economic growth these numbers are still decreasing. The downward trend is encouraging news to health and safety professionals nationwide.