Friday, January 8, 2016

Does your workplace safety plan need a do-over?

The start of a new year gives us – in some cases –a clean slate; an opportunity to renew our efforts and a chance to get “it” right.  It’s a time to review what’s working well and what may need a little bit of a tune-up. It’s a great time to review your workplace safety program.  Already have something in place? That’s great but when is the last time you updated it? A comprehensive and effective workplace safety program is not a “one-and-done” exercise; it’s not just a manual with policies and procedures. It should be a process that continually evolves and adapts to new circumstances; it should be interactive and include everyone’s input and participation; it’s a team effort.

Let’s face it – just because something looks good on paper doesn’t mean it actually works in the real application. Test all of your policies; conduct safety drills with your employees to make sure everyone is prepared. Take a look at your overall program from last year. What worked? What didn’t? And most importantly why didn’t it work? What’s changed since last year? Are you in a new building, are you working with new equipment, are there a number of new employees on board? When did you last inspect safety equipment and safety gear? Do you have a safety checklist? Do people know who to contact when there’s a safety issue? Does everyone know what the safety expectations are in your company?

Is this a big undertaking? Yes, it is. The questions above are only a sampling of what you actually need to consider; but the risk of not asking is far greater than any amount of work it takes to get it right.

Workers have a right to expect a safe workplace and employers have the obligation to provide it for them. That’s a good thing.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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