Of course safety is a top priority for your business. But if you need help getting your safety program off the ground, follow these 10 steps recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
1. Establish safety and health as a core value.
Show that working safely is not only a priority but also the way you do business. Assure your employees and crew that you’ll work with them to identify and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
2. Lead by example.
Practice safe behaviors yourself and make safety part of your daily conversations with your employees and crew. For example, schedule a regular morning meeting to go over the project, the equipment and any potential hazards on the jobsite.
3. Implement a reporting system.
Develop and communicate a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents (including near misses/close calls), hazards or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option for reporting hazards or concerns anonymously.
4. Provide training.
Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace, as well as report injuries, illnesses and near misses.
Safe equipment operation requires a qualified operator, so it’s important to train workers how to safely and efficiently operate equipment. For Bobcat Company, a qualified operator must: understand the written instructions, rules and regulations; operate the equipment during training; and know the work conditions including materials being handled, prohibited work areas or location of underground lines.
5. Conduct inspections.
Inspect the workplace with employees and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment or materials that concern them. Use checklists to help identify problems.
6. Collect hazard control ideas.
Ask employees for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Provide them with time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions.
7. Implement hazard controls.
Assign employees the task of choosing, implementing and evaluating the solutions they come up with.
8. Address emergencies.
Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Meet to discuss these procedures and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
9. Seek input on workplace changes.
Before making significant changes to the workplace, work organization, equipment or materials, consult with your employees or crews to identify potential safety or health issues.
10. Make improvements to the program.
Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.
Check these 10 steps off your list, then get to work implementing more structured actions to include in your program. To help, Bobcat Company offers safety resources, including safety videos you can purchase or watch online.