Having a safety-focused culture in the workplace is important, as it works hand-in-hand with your Safety Plans to reduce risks and exposures. Firms lacking appropriate safety and risk management practices have more frequent and higher workers’ compensation claims costs resulting in higher overall costs for coverage. If that weren’t enough, these employers also have increased hidden costs from lost productivity and negative impacts on morale. Further, on the job injuries can negatively impact both the employer and employee, especially when there is confusion about the process (forms, treatment, MPNs, returning to work, etc.). Fostering a culture where management and employees are mindful about safety can lead to lower premiums and a healthy, happy workplace.
What creates and supports a safety culture?
Having policies and required programs in the workplace such as the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), Personal Protective Equipment programs (PPE), or Ergonomic training are vital to reduce the risk of injury, ensure compliance and sustain a safety culture. However, these tools alone do not ensure a safety focused culture. The following are commonly recognized elements required to create and nurture a safety focused culture:
- Commitment from all in the workplace
- Investing in all aspects of adopting a safety focused culture
- Seamless, matter-of-fact integration
- Continuous process monitoring and identification of improvements
- Proper training and easily accessible information provided and supported on the clock
- System for hazard prevention and control
- Rewarding ongoing support of the culture
How do I adopt a safety culture?
The first step is identifying risk exposures and crafting a strategy for prevention. This first step requires safety expertise. A specially trained consultant can help offer ergonomic intervention, as well as examine and inspect equipment and processes to identify areas of improvement. It’s also recommended that you reach out to your workers’ compensation and disability carriers to see what resources are available for your company. After the initial assessment, bringing in the expert to train a selected member of your team to be head up the safety committee within your workplace is the next step. From there, you can decide whether to continue staff training with the expert or have the staff member conclude the training and provide ongoing staff support, using the strategy identified by the safety expert.
OmegaComp HR has safety experts available to conduct your exposure assessment. Contact us for a free consultation today.