How to Adopt a Safety-First Attitude

Safety is always a concern within the professional workplace. This is even more relevant when discussing environments associated with potentially serious threats to one’s health and well-being. Unfortunately, managers and employees alike can and will make mistakes on occasion. Some of these may be unintentional (such as flouting safety guidelines when working at heights) while others could result from “cutting corners” to save time or to increase on-site efficiency.

We should therefore ask an entirely relevant question. How can companies put safety first? Have certain policies been known to offer beneficial results? Might technology also play an important role? Considering the fact that governments have begun to seriously crack down on safety violations, these questions must be examined at length.

Employee Education

It is first crucial to mention the role that employees play in terms of safety. After all, these are the very same individuals who are likely to be harmed in the event of a workplace accident. This is why training should take place as soon as the on-boarding process has been completed. The orientation techniques must also be in accordance with the appropriate governmental guidelines (such as the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

The exact type of training will nonetheless depend on the role in question. Examples include how to operate a forklift, the gear required when working at heights, and what type of PPE (personal protective equipment) must be worn when mixing harsh chemicals. Workers who are aware of the options at their disposal will be much more likely to adhere to predetermined protocols.

Ensure that the Proper Safety Systems are in Place

Many industrial worksites have employed automated systems over the past few decades. A sizeable portion of these systems are ultimately intended to provide workers with an additional layer of protection. An example will help to cement this point.

Facilities involved with electroplating will frequently implement one or more gas scrubbers. The main purpose of these scrubbers is to safely remove harmful emissions that may be released as by-products of the electroplating process. These systems must also be maintained in accordance with manufacturer recommendations, as they might not otherwise function as they should.

Proactive Monitoring

Managers and team leaders are just as responsible for on-site safety. They are responsible for the actions of their subordinates and as a result, any infraction should be dealt with immediately. This is why a “hands-on” approach is required at all times. In the event that a worker requires assistance, help should be made available. The same holds true if a stakeholder notices that an individual is not properly trained to perform a certain task.

Fostering a Communicative Environment

Workplace safety should represent a two-way street. It is important for employees to feel that they can speak with management if they wish to voice any concerns. Unfortunately, some companies have yet to provide this level of transparency. For instance, a serious injury could easily occur if employees failed to report a faulty ladder due to the fear of being criticised by a team leader.

In other words, everyone is accountable for safety within any commercial or industrial environment. This is the best way to guarantee that the appropriate actions are performed sooner as opposed to later.

Continuous Quality Improvement

Even if all of the measures outlined above are implemented, accidents can and will still occur on occasion. The point here is not to entirely eliminate such situations, but rather to provide as safe of an environment as possible. This will reduce the frequency of injuries while also illustrating that management cares about the health and welfare of their employees. An ounce of prevention can certainly go a long way.