- In which areas, if any, have you been experiencing a rise in near misses or accidents?
- What kinds of injuries are being reported?
- Which groups of employees are involved?
- If you're currently experiencing compliance issues, how effectively and expeditiously are those problems being resolved?
- What kinds of safety concerns, if any, have supervisors and employees been voicing lately?
- What do safety committee members think are your main safety and health problems?
- Which issues have been leading to the most workers' comp claims?
Train Away Deficient Safety Performance. In areas where you have experienced near misses or accidents, retraining is required to ensure that all workers involved understand what's going wrong and how to fix it. There may be other areas where nothing's gone wrong yet, but performance seems to be slipping. Refresher training is indicated for those situations. It gives you an opportunity to remind employees of safety rules and to reemphasize hazards and precautions.
Also, be sure that new employees are getting all the safety training they need right from the start, including all the basics as well as all the specifics related to their jobs. And when you train, be sure to explain right up front why the training is necessary. If you directly link training to protecting people from serious injuries, they're more likely to take you and the training seriously. Also be sure your training shows employees exactly how they can protect themselves.
Set Your Sights On a Banner Safety Year. This week, join with employees, supervisors, managers, safety committee members, and safety consultants to recommit your whole organization to flawless safety performance. For example, you could take advantage of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week to:
- Hold safety meetings in every department to discuss safety issues specific to each group of employees.
- Feature safety concerns and initiatives in your employee newsletter.
- Put up posters and use payroll stuffers to remind employees to promptly report safety problems they notice anywhere in the workplace.
- Promote your system for soliciting employee suggestions for improving workplace safety.
- On a typical workday:
- 17 workers are killed on the job by traumatic injuries.
- 137 more workers die of occupationally related illnesses.
- 17,138 workers are injured.
- Forty percent of employees injured at work have been on the job for less than a year.
- OSHA reports estimates that indicate employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct costs of workplace injuries, not to mention hidden costs (lost productivity, extra training, and so on).