Employers have a legal responsibility to protect their employees from a range of dangers and under occupational health and safety legislation, the onus is on employers to carry out due diligence by conducting workplace hazard assessments and implementing effective control measures to remedy any hazards that might have been identified as part of this process.
If you were on the witness stand and the government attorneys are asking you about your safety program, compliance and enforcement, could you answer the following with confidence?
Are you familiar with your company’s safety program?
Do you discipline employees for not following the rules of your safety program? How can you prove that to us?
Do you conduct periodic safety audits to ensure employees are following your safety program and being safe? Why not?
Today I am going to share 4 things that will help you be prepared, stay diligent, and protect your business before tragedy strikes…
This is more than a general safety statement in your employee handbook! Create a separate safety handbook that emphasizes the hazards your employees encounter most often. Make sure the policy is readable, understandable, and accessible to your employees. Get your supervisors on board with fully embracing the policy and its enforcement.
Who does your safety training? Are they qualified? Do you give safety training both at point of hire and recurring? Classroom training alone is not enough, demonstrations are key. Effective training and education can be provided outside a formal classroom setting. Peer-to-peer training, on-the-job training, and worksite demonstrations can be effective in conveying safety concepts, ensuring understanding of hazards and their controls, and promoting good work practices.
The BEST Safety Program and the BEST Safety Training will fail without enforcement! If you are not writing up your employees and supervisors for failing to follow the safety program and training, you cannot show that you take safety seriously. Maintain a separate safety violations file.
Do you have regularly scheduled auditing of your safety program? If you do, your employees will always appear to be following your safety program, because they expect you, and you are actively observing! Random, unannounced is the only way to go. This is critical to having an effective workplace safety program.
Creating an effective workplace training program requires care and planning but will reward your organization and employees with a safe and productive workplace.