5 Ways to Improve Your Safety Program
1. Get everyone engaged in the safety program.
First of all, employee engagement is crucial for successful safety program. Studies show that improving engagement within your organization can not only reduce incident rates by up to 65% but can also improve productivity by up to 40%. Employees have great ideas that tend to go unheard. Getting them engaged can create a happier, more involved and safer workplace. That includes everyone within the organization from temporary workers to the CEO. Safety must be the priority.
2. Reward and promote proactive behaviors.
Incentive programs that reward the employees who have the lowest incident rates may be illegal because they promote underreporting. However, encouraging proactivity can be tricky but it goes hand-in-hand with engagement. Try providing employees with ways to report potential dangers before they even become issues and give them a way to explain what actions they took to improve the environment. Then make sure to have a follow up with that employee, either thanking them for their actions or asking them how they would like to see the situation improved. By focusing on actions taken as opposed to incidents that have occurred you can set a mindset of proactivity.
3. Don’t rate your program’s effectiveness based on compliance.
Rating their safety program solely based on their incident rate is one of the worst things a company can do. A study on Las Vegas hotel employees found that up to two-thirds of incidents went unreported. It can be easy to forget to report a minor injury like a bruise or small burn because most people are used to getting hurt at home and not filling out any paperwork. Understand that your OSHA recordable rate should not be treated as your “safety number”. Rather, focus on the number and quality of safety improvements made in the last year from suggestions made by employees.
4. Don’t use a shoebox filing cabinet.
It is not uncommon for young companies to take a casual approach to safety. OSHA requires that companies keep certain safety records for at least 5 years and small companies usually won’t have enough paperwork to require a full filing cabinet devoted to old safety records. As a result, they tend to end up in a shoebox in the closet, the bottom of the CEO’s desk drawer, or even the glove box of the company car. This may work for a while but the first time a safety consultant or new safety director comes in, they may make a dash for the door. Getting organized not only saves time but also shows employees that you are committed safety.
Getting organized is easy too; it’s 2016 people! Scan your documents and send them to the cloud or back them up on an external hard drive. Either way, when the OSHA auditor comes knocking, you’ll be glad you’re not scrambling to try and find your dusty documents
5. Take an analytical approach.
It statistically has been proven, using 4 years of real-world safety data, that workplace injuries can be predicted with accuracy rates as high as 97%. It also has been proven across numerous companies that if injuries can be predicted, they can be prevented – here are some examples:
- A Fortune 150 energy company reduced its injury rate by 67% within 18 months.
- A Fortune 150 manufacturer reduced its lost workday rate by 97% within 1 year.
- A top 20 construction company achieved significant safety improvements including 90% of worksites experiencing no lost-time incidents.
Types of analytic approaches.
In order to determine if your organization is ready to begin using predictive analytics, you first need to decide what you’re trying to accomplish with their use. A basic data access and reporting solution is sufficient if all you are trying to do is gain access to and report on your historic data. Such a solution is great for reporting out to various stakeholders within your company and answering basic questions about what is going on across your company and how you are doing on compliance with operating procedures and regulations.
However, if you want to start answering deeper questions such as, “Where and when will injuries happen next?” and “How do I optimize my response to these injury risks so I can prevent them?” then you need the advanced and predictive analytics functionality.
Sospes’ predictive analytics program can help companies achieve whichever analytic goals you may have. Visit our contact page for more information on what an analytics program could look like for your company.
So in Conclusion.
While a company may be compliant remember, compliance is the bare minimum required by law. Start by creating safer work processes that support improved productivity, compliance will usually follow as a result. Furthermore, bringing in and taking advantage of new technologies can significantly improve the effectiveness of your safety program.