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SAFETY NOTES - Promoting a safe workplace involves everyone

By Walter Hill | GARRISON SAFETY OFFICE | August 07, 2014

Promoting a safe workplace environment involves every level of the organization instilling a safety culture that reduces accidents for workers and improves productivity.

This is a win-win for any organization, but it is often easier said than done. This is why safety must be more than a priority; it must be an integral of the total team philosophy. We know that priorities change and shift with the mission, but a philosophy is critical to the organization’s soul.

Any team, whether it is football, baseball, basketball or little league soccer, has a philosophy. These are the ideas both the team and leadership believe are the bedrock of its success. We call these core values.

What are the core values of a success organization that has a positive safety culture?

• Management commitment and employee involvement. Providing leadership and holding personnel accountable for meeting their responsibilities.

• Worksite analysis. Identifying hazards associated with jobs: Facilities, processes, materials and equipment.

• Hazard prevention and control. Evaluating the design, engineering controls, administrative controls and Personal Protective Equipment.

• Safety and health training. Covering all required employee training, document, and reinforce employee training when necessary.

A cultural change does not happen overnight, but it requires persistent effort, patience and a willingness to stay the course. If your organization does not have a strong safety culture, the following are some keys to changing the mindset of both management and employees:

CHANGING CULTURE REQUIRES COMMUNICATION

Encouraging open communication, providing employees with support, and clear guidelines on behavior that promotes a positive, respectful, and safe workplace is part of every manager’s job.

Directors and Supervisors play a decisive role in promoting a safe workplace environment and have a responsibility to actively address behaviors that undermine a safe work environment.

CHANGING CULTURE REQUIRES EDUCATION

Educate employees about the importance of reporting safety concerns. Instruct them on how to report threats and incidents of intimidating behavior.

CHANGING CULTURE IS TEAM EFFORT

Take a team approach to safety: We all need to work together to keep each other safe. We all have responsibility to report any safety concerns you may have. Employers/ supervisors have a responsibility to enforce safe working practices; employees have the responsibility to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when required.

Remember when an effective safety and health program is part of the organization and a way of life, everyone wins in preventing injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

For more information, contact the Garrison Safety Office at 785-239-2514 or Occupational Health at 785-239-7220.
Tag Safe Workplace   Tag Safety