Six Ways to Promote Safety without a Director
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Construction Risks and Safety
Companies that employ full-time safety directors (sole job is promoting safe work practices) typically achieve better results than organizations without such an individual. What about smaller construction companies, or ones that can’t afford that full-time safety director? Can these organizations still have safety success? How?
Safe work practices, or the lack thereof, are a part of any organization’s culture. The degree that safety awareness is communicated within an organization is typically determined by the organization’s ownership and/or top management. If safety is important to the organization’s leadership, then safe work practices are more likely to become embedded into everyone’s day-to-day activities. Safe work practices can become a large part of the business culture or fabric. You can still invest into safety without hiring a full-time director.
For organizations looking to create and/or improve their safety culture, consider the following:
- Formation of a Safety Committee. Create a six to eight person safety leadership group which can spear head safety activities. The group should be comprised of management, supervisors and field or plant employees.
- Establish a written safety program. This can be used as the safety committee’s playbook. After all, it’s hard to reach your end destination without a map!
- Schedule safety training sessions throughout the calendar year. If you want to change behavior, you need to educate, create awareness and build a safety culture. There’s no better way to illustrate a company’s concern for an employee than giving that employee education and training.
- Constant review and inspection of equipment and surroundings. Are the employees working in a safe environment or are they doomed from the get go? Show your employees you care about them by improving their environment and supplying the proper personal protective equipment.
- Investigate, review and learn from not only every injury, but every near miss. The definition of insanity is doing the same wrong thing over and over again yet expecting different results. A near miss experienced today can very likely become tomorrow’s workplace injury.
- Build accountability by tracking results. An organization should be willing to establish written safety goals. For supervisory personnel, does the organization make safety performance part of the performance review? Is the supervisor consistently leading Toolbox Talks, investigating injuries/near misses and disciplining for unsafe work practices? Does the organization reward the supervisor for his or her department’s injury-free year? What about the supervisor who has multiple injuries occur in his department and rarely offers a Toolbox Talk?
If organizations don’t have safety expertise within, consider using a consultant. Start by finding the right insurance broker who can offer expertise and/or advice instead of just being transactional. Some insurance agencies have in-house safety professionals that can lead an organization’s safety committee, or get safety assistance from the insurance carrier. Are you working with the right insurance broker? This may be the right question to ask rather than… do we need to hire a full-time safety director?
- How To Create a Safety Culture Webinar Replay
- Intro to Accident Investigation Webinar Replay
- Safety E-Book
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