The concept of employee safety is a vital element in the success of any organization. According to safety professionals, risky behavior, inadequate safety training, long working hours, stress, and unsafe environments such as wet floors or hazardous equipment play a far more significant role in workplace related accidents and injuries. This means that factors such as occupational safety, health and ergonomics must be given due consideration. It is therefore your responsibility as an employer to maintain a safe and healthy working environment.
While it is not possible for employers to alleviate every imaginable hazard in the workplace, the following simple steps can help you avoid costly Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) citations and help you perk up safety in the workplace.
Conduct a Safety and Health Audit
Conducting a safety and health audit is one of the most effective ways an employer can utilize to eliminate safety hazards in the workplace. However, employers must be very cautious in the manner in which they conduct and document their audit reports. For example, during a workplace inspection, OSHA may demand to view the audit reports and use them to spot out any potential hazards in the workplace.
If un-remedied potential hazards are identified in the employer’s audit reports, OSHA will issue citations. To ensure full compliance with OSHA’s best practices and standards, it is important that you work closely with a safety and health expert.
Create a Strong Safety Culture
Employees hold safety as a value. Creating a strong and an authentic safety culture in your workplace is vital for ensuring workers health and safety. Involve management at all levels to create this culture.
Establish an effective open line communication with employees, visit the work sites to observe the potential hazards with your own eyes, and be physically present when responding to the needs and concerns of your workers. Such actions will not only demonstrate your organization’s stern dedication to safety, but will also increase your employees’ commitment to safety as well as create a work environment that fosters trust, creativity, and general well-being.
Ensure that Safety and Health Information is Updated and Well Communicated
In the stretch film packaging or in any other industrial business, employers must supply their employees with essential safety information such as how to evacuate the premises in case of an emergency, or how to shut down a stretch film packaging machine in the event of an accident. Subject to OSHA safety standards, employers may be required to record work related injuries and illnesses as well as maintain a host of documents such as compliance audits and hazard analysis reports. These documents should regularly be up dated.
The main purpose of safety training is to build safety consciousness among the personnel and to ensure safe performance by developing the skills of the employees. Most OSHA standards incorporate specific training requirements. To avoid citation by OSHA, employers must train personnel comprehensively on relevant safety and health information. This includes the potential hazards they may be exposed to, and how to protect themselves understands.
One simple way to identify whether the employees are up to the task is by administering a quiz at the conclusion of the training. Most employers require workers to achieve a high score on their first try, failure to which they should be retrained. Such records should be stored on file and can be provided to OSHA in the event of an inspection.