Creating a Culture of Corporate Safety
Management’s Priority - Everyone’s Responsibility
(SNN) - The advantages of having a culture of safety within your corporation are many-fold. Most of these advantages can be characterized as a form of “insurance”. While these measures can’t protect your business completely from the negative effects of workplace injuries, they will do much to reduce the chances of an accident happening and mitigate the fallout should an incident occur.
How a Focus on Safety Provides a Competitive Edge
There are a number of ways that being vigilant about your company’s safety standards may provide both concrete and intangible benefits to your business. Here are just a few of the ways instilling strong safety management into your culture can produce real financial savings.
- Better employee morale, as workers are valued higher than the assignments they are tasked with, which studies show can lead to greater job satisfaction and reduced absenteeism.
- Less expensive disability insurance and WCB premiums
- Defense against devastatingly negative public relations crises
- Reduction or possible elimination of lost time due to post-injury OH&S investigations.
- Less chance for key employees to be unavailable for critical projects due to injury
- Less need for temporary, untrained replacement workers on jobsites or expensive ovetime due to manpower shortages due to injury.
The Recipe for a Safety-Conscious Culture
There are a number of ingredients to make safety not just a priority but a corporate-wide commitment to realize the benefits that have been outlined. These ingredients can help to foster a culture of workplace safety that takes the cake.
Include a detailed section on safety in your orientation procedures outlining the unique dangers present in your workplace.
Never give any team leader the idea that cutting safety corners, even if they might save time, is a good idea.
Do not encourage employees to over-exert. Encourage the use of machine power over muscle power.
Never assume the injuries will only take place in the shop, warehouse, field or plant. Injuries in the office occur, too.
Safety meetings, although a new age expression for wasting tine, need to be scheduled and the time spent productively.
In the event of any serious worker injury. an accident post-mortem must be held, ideally with the injured worker, the HR manager, the team leader and the company safety officer, to examine the circumstances around the injury. It is absolutely imperative management DO NOT make this a witch-hunt or a “blame the victim” process. Everyone must understand the point is to learn from the incident and institute policies to prevent similar situations from reoccurring.
Provide employees concrete and significant safety awards for personal or team safety, based on proven measurables; for example, milestones of man-hours worked since last serious accident.
Encourage employees to report all injuries to the WCB.
At the End of the Day
In the end, the goal isn’t just to save the company money and prestige or save the owners from bad press or expensive litigation defence. The target is to keep the human beings in your corporate care, safe from injury so they can go home to their families when they are done their labours and show up the next morning ready to put in a full day’s work. It is an essential part of humanizing your business for the betterment of all.