How to Enforce Safety Policies
While it may sound unthinkable, about 5,333 workplace injuries per year are fatal. This accounts for about 3.5 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers. This might not sound like a high number, but those high-risk jobs have a greater chance of being affected.
Here, we’re going to talk about how you as an upper-level manager can enforce workplace safety policies for those in high-risk jobs. Read on for some tips on how to get employees to understand the importance of these procedures.
1. Invest in Top-Notch Training
In order for employees to stay safe, they need to complete comprehensive and easy-to-understand safety training. Make sure that you talk about environmental and equipment safety as well as disaster plans such as fire safety procedures.
Tell employees where emergency exits and first aid kits are. Point them towards resources that will remind them of safety procedures. Make sure that you make the meeting interactive and give them forms to sign that provide you with documentation that they completed the training.
2. Take Proactive Safety Measures
OSHA requires companies that work with hazardous chemicals to fill out safety data sheets (SDSs). These 16-section forms detail the risks associated with using the material and how you can work to prevent these risks. They must be accessible for employees, which ensures that they understand what they need to do when working with them.
You also will need detailed procedures that discuss the hazards of working with any heavy machinery that your workplace contains. Employees then will have a clear safety policy template that they can access before working with bailers and other license-only machinery.
3. Have a Clear Penalties System
You need to have a clear system for what penalties will ensue when the guidelines outlined in the signed safety policy statement are unmet.
Penalties will likely include:
- A verbal warning after the first and second offenses
- A written warning for the third offense
- Penalties and punishments such as docked hours/pay for the fourth offence
- Termination of employment for the fifth offense
4. Be Consistent
Enforcing penalties are difficult, but it’s important that you’re consistent with these penalties across the board. The same punishments should be doled out for safety violations regardless of position. This sets a precedent that safety comes above all else regardless of experience.
You also should create a consistent rewards system. This will ensure that employees gain something from constantly going out of their way to meet safety guidelines. Give the most health-conscious employees gift cards, shoutouts, and bonuses.
5. Assess and Reassess Policies
You need to constantly work with health experts to assess and reassess the policies that you have in place. This will ensure that they’re consistently effective in a changing workplace.
Keep records of employee illness and injury and look for trends in the data. You may be missing the mark on training employees in specific areas. If this happens, analyze and update your training methods.
Implement Workplace Safety Policies ASAP
Now that you know how to inforce a health and safety policy, it’s time to get started. Contact us with any remaining questions that you have on workplace safety policies.