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Safety in the workplace 10 Steps

10 Steps for Safety in the Workplace

Safety in the workplace 10 Steps

July 26, 2022 Posted by in Crisis Communications

Safety in the workplace does not happen by chance and luck. It takes brainstorming, planning and practicing. It also takes assessing and evaluating after the event occurs to be sure that any errors could be corrected and improved. As the Occupational Safety and Health Administration states on its website, “a safe workplace is sound business.” Also, according to the OSHA website, there are six benefits to devising a “safety in the workplace” plan:

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Improve compliance with laws and regulations
  • Reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums
  • Engage workers
  • Enhance their social responsibility goals
  • Increase productivity and enhance overall business operations

How to begin planning for safety in the workplace

When most people think of a safety plan, they begin by being reactive — addressing problems and accidents that occur after they happen. However, what would be far more helpful and effective for your business is to fix any issues that may cause illness or injury in advance. It sounds overwhelming, but if you start with a simple, basic program, you can grow and expand it from there. OSHA recommends you build your plan this way:

  • Focus on achieving goals.
  • Monitor performance.
  • Evaluate outcomes.

Here are ten steps recommended by OSHA to get your business started on a plan for safety in the workplace;

  1. Establish safety and health as a core value. Tell your workers that making sure they finish the day and go home safely is the way you do business. Assure them that you will work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
  2. Lead by example. Practice safe behaviors yourself and make safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
  3. Implement a reporting system. Develop and communicate a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents (including near misses/close calls), hazards, or safety and health concerns, without fear of retaliation. Include an option for reporting hazards or concerns anonymously.
  4. Provide training. Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace, as well as report injuries, illnesses, and near misses.
  5. Conduct inspections. Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or materials that concern them. Use checklists to help identify problems.
  6. Collect hazard control ideas. Ask workers for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Provide them time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions.
  7. Implement hazard controls. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing, and evaluating the solutions they come up with.
  8. Address emergencies. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Meet to discuss these procedures and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
  9. Seek input on workplace changes. Before making significant changes to the workplace, work organization, equipment, or materials, consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues.
  10. Make improvements. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.

Learn to identify hazards that can cause injury, illness, and accidents

Failure to recognize and confront dangerous objects and potential situations in your work area can cause trouble.

  • Collect and review information about the hazards present or likely to be present in the workplace.
  • Conduct initial and periodic workplace inspections of the workplace to identify new or recurring hazards.
  • Investigate injuries, illnesses, incidents, and close calls/near misses to determine the underlying hazards, their causes, and safety and health program shortcomings.
  • Group similar incidents and identify trends in injuries, illnesses, and hazards reported.
  • Consider hazards associated with emergency or non-routine situations.
  • Determine the severity and likelihood of incidents that could result for each hazard identified, and use this information to prioritize corrective actions.

Safety in the workplace: the success comes with the planning suggests that it’s important to consider — and plan for — many different threats and hazards, as well as the likelihood that they will occur. Here’s how to get started:

  • Define your list of threats and hazards as probable, and how they should be handled.
  • Which events could cause injury, property damage, business disruption or environmental impact?
  • Contact your local police and fire department and invite a professional to come by to evaluate, train and answer questions.

Invest in a mass notification system to alert your staff in an emergency

In the split-second event of an emergency, your staff, employees and customers will need to get vital information from you, and fast. A mass notification system like RedFlag will help you do this, in a seamless, accurate manner. Use it to get information and instructions to your people in real time — this can include two-way communication and fast updates.

With a RedFlag system, you can communicate with your staff in the way they are most likely to be helped:

  • SMS texts
  • Emails
  • Phone calls
  • Voicemails
  • Other business communication platforms like Microsoft Teams
  • Physical alerts via digital signage, alarms, etc

It’s all as easy as one click and your message gets out there, to the people who most need to see it. Consider the benefits:

  • One easy platform: Simple-to-navigate (send a multi-channel message in one click) and powerful enough to reach everyone
  • Integrate RedFlag with your existing systems: Works well with both business hardware and software
  • Multi-channel: Send your message to every platform your people are using
  • Two-way communication: Find out if your staff is okay, or if they need help. Know where they are, and if they are safe
  • Specific custom groups: Create custom groups of your recipients in any way you need.
  • Create your alert message: In advance, before the emergency occurs. You can always edit the message and the recipient list in real time, if needed
  • Reporting and analytics capabilities: If you need to go to court, you’ll have documentation and time stamps that will help show you were doing everything in your power to protect and save your staff
  • Security and reliability: In the midst of an emergency, you’ll experience no outages; you won’t be knocked offline or hacked. Your company’s sensitive information will be protected with secure, encrypted notifications (permissions required)
  • Geo-targeting capabilities: You may not be in the vicinity of the emergency when it goes down, but your system lets you remain in the driver’s seat. Direct your staff to a safer place, map the emergency location and “group” the people who most need to be addressed and helped

Bottom line:

It’s all about planning — and insight. Take time — ahead of time — to think about and create an emergency plan for your business and your people. Be sure to choose an emergency alert system that allows you to communicate with your staff in real time, sharing urgent information. You should be able to communicate with specific staff, no matter how large or small, in a seamless, effective way. After the event, you should be able to access and evaluate the situation, and find out what needs to be improved if there is a next time. Above all, your goal is to prevent injury, accidents and ultimately save lives.

Read more about OSHA’s recommended practices for safety and health programs. Click here

Read more about how helps you plan for safety in the workplace. Click here

Find out more about how RedFlag can help you create an emergency alert system for your business. Click here

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