Anyone who has a job, particularly in the manual labor field, has probably been present for one of the many workplace safety meetings their company has held. Wear protective gear, watch where you’re walking, looking around corners, etc. Most of the time you probably think, “Well yeah, it’s common sense not to (fill in the blank here).” But then you get back into the crazy work life and forget all about that meeting.
Have you ever been in the situation where you decide to take a shortcut that involves forgoing basic safety procedures? What happened? Did you succeed? Did you get to go home early? Did you fail? Was it worth it?
Let’s take a look at a man who decided to take a shortcut while working his everyday manual labor job. Brad Gardner worked in a business with large machines. While cleaning one of these machines, he decided to take a shortcut – one that changed his life forever.
Brad didn’t follow proper safety procedures for cleaning this machine, and he was one of the few who suffered the consequences of this mistake. Brad lost his right arm in this workplace accident, and from that point, his life and the lives of his family members were completely changed.
Brad, and his wife, Dolores, want to help others avoid experiencing a similar accident, so they give workplace safety presentations to businesses around the world. It is their hope that people will learn from their experience and create a better, safer, workplace environment by following proper safety procedures. They even have a safety training DVD for those businesses that can’t book a presentation with them. If you have the chance to watch their presentation or share it with those in your business, you definitely should check it out.
Here are 3 imperatives to Implementing Safety in the Workplace.
Get the Executives On-Board
Workplace safety can be a difficult thing to implement, particularly if employees feel hard-pressed to meet deadlines and get the job done as quickly as possible. The best, and possibly only way, to ensure workplace safety, is for it to come straight from the top. Management and executives must be involved in setting the example for safety in the workplace. The company must have an atmosphere that cultivates safety as an important value. Without the top dogs on board, it will be hard to get lower level employees to see the importance of it.
If management and your executives are on board (which they should be – otherwise you need a new place to work) then it’s just a matter of training and keeping that importance engrained in the employees.
Training and Follow-up Training
It all starts with training. From the very start of a job, employees should know the importance of workplace safety. They should know all of the proper procedures for handling equipment or for any tasks that their job requires of them. Make sure your employees are trained from day one.
Have follow-up training once a quarter or every other quarter to keep your employees up to date on these safety procedures, especially if new equipment is brought into the workplace. Keeping this knowledge fresh can help prevent accidents from taking place.
Post Your Safety Procedures
Plaster the safety procedures all over the place! Make posters, post them near equipment, and require employees to read the poster before proceeding to use the equipment. This is going to be different at every workplace, but find a way that you can have the specific safety guideline for your business posted up for your employees to see.
Keeping safety guidelines visible will help keep it fresh in your employees’ minds as they go to handle potentially dangerous equipment or hazardous materials.
Do your due diligence when it comes to keeping your employees safe. This will only help your business thrive by creating a better and safer work environment where your employees are able to be their most productive self.