SEVEN STEPS TO SAFER, HEALTHIER EMPLOYEES

It's tough to run a company. However, taking steps can make your job easier and your workplace safer. You're probably already doing most or all of these things, but just in case, here's a quick review:
  1. Ensure compliance with safety and health standards. Comply in detail with OSHA standard that applies to your operations and your workplace. Check state regulations, which take precedence, if they're stricter than federal standards. Enforce compliance with your own safety policies.
  2. Keep employees informed about hazards. Identify every hazard in every work area and in every job, and make sure employees with potential exposure know what the hazards are, how they're dangerous, how to protect against them, and what to do if they're exposed to a particular hazard.
  3. Take appropriate steps to minimize risks. This involves many things, including:
    • Well-conceived and implemented workplace safety and health programs.
    • Routine and thorough inspections and safety audits.
    • Effective engineering, administrative, and work practice controls.
    • Frequent and effective employee training.
    • Routine workplace maintenance.
  4. Teach employees to work safely. Train frequently to keep workers up to date on workplace and regulatory changes - and to keep them aware, alert, and prepared to work safely.
  5. Monitor performance and provide feedback. Don't assume that workers will use what they learn in training or do what their supervisors tell them to do. For all kinds of reasons, workers will decide to take risks or ignore warnings and instructions. Make sure your supervisors monitor safety performance and provide feedback to maintain safe and healthy behavior.
  6. Pay attention to employees' suggestions and complaints. Although you might not be able to use all their suggestions or be thrilled about their complaints, listening to employees is essential to get them on board with your safety and health programs and following your safety rules. The big plus here is that employee participation leads to employee ownership, which leads to employee-driven safety and a safer workplace.
  7. Correct problems quickly. Foot-dragging over hazard abatement tells your employees that you don't care about their safety. Whenever a safety or health problem comes to your attention, take swift and effective action.
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