The business owner’s guide to developing an effective safety management program

A complete safety management program has countless benefits. It enables you to create a safe work environment. It introduces safety into your company’s workplace culture. It can attract and retain talent. 

Safety management programs used to be reserved only for large companies with dedicated safety departments. Nowadays, the work landscape requires all companies to invest in safety program development and meet local legislation. Businesses create and maintain safety programs to ensure their staff understand organisational rules and follow policies.

If you create and enforce a safety management program you promote a preventive culture where safety is a priority. In short, you’re working to reduce workplace injuries and keep your workers and visitors safe. And in case of unfortunate events, your program ensures there are rules in place to compensate the victims adequately.

A well-developed safety management program means:

– Safety-conscience workers

– Reduced injury-associated expenses

– Increased performance

The most successful brands in the world prioritise employee safety and health and make it a shared responsibility. If you want to be one of these companies, here is how to create an effective safety management program.

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Outline the company’s safety policies

The first step in creating a safe work environment is to develop the company’s safety policies – your brand’s position on the status of safety management and expectations from workers on how to behave and act. When you outline safety policies, make sure to include information about how employees should complete operations and follow their daily working activities. It’s crucial for safety policies to provide details about general operating procedures, such as what everyone should do in case of a work hazard, how often drills are practised, and instructions on how to handle different injuries in case someone is hurt on the job.

Workplace safety experts recommend writing down a complete guide and sharing it with your team to ensure everyone knows how to act. Not only should the safety policy be developed, but actively followed daily. This implies performing safety audits, hazard identification, site inspections, and periodic interactions with workers to ensure they know and respect the regulations.

Discuss the safety policies with your employees

Communicating any change in safety policies to your team is vital. Ensure that information is easily accessible, and your team leaders discuss the content of safety policies with their staff to ensure they understand how they should act. It’s essential to remind workers periodically that you prioritise safety over productivity, and they should focus on completing their tasks in safe conditions rather than worrying about performance. Often, this message gets lost due to everyday activities and the pressures of meeting deadlines and maintaining work effectiveness. Also, your workers may sometimes feel like they receive mixed messages, so it’s best to remind them that safety is always a priority.

When you are consistent in your messaging and transmit to employees that their safety and health are important for the company, you encourage their loyalty, productivity, and accountability because they feel valued and respected. Also, ongoing communication educates your staff and helps you reinforce healthy behaviours. It’s crucial for everyone to feel a strong connection to their safety and their colleagues’ safety.

Use cutting edge tools

Businesses with low injury rates are equipped for success with more than safety management programs. They leverage top-notch systems and tools to supervise activities and handle everything flawlessly. EHS software is one of the most popular tools among organisations that want to improve workplace safety. EHS software solutions offer a centralised place for safety management programs and enable you to track your compliance and manage health and safety data. When you integrate an Environmental Health and Safety platform into your safety management program, you benefit from a single space to store information, documents, performance metrics, and other data that impact your company’s performance. Well-crafted EHS software acts like a central platform that stores data about your company’s compliance with safety requirements, enables you to manage tasks, and gives you real-time visibility to information.

The use of cutting edge tools is becoming even more important as the young talent who grew up having access to digital tools is looking for employers that could accommodate their needs naturally. They can’t imagine filling out paper documents and keeping paperwork in the physical format. They expect you to provide them with access to digital tools to make their work easier.

Train your team

The safest businesses worldwide recognise the importance of continuous training and prioritise it. OSHA states that education provides employees, team leaders, and business owners with:

– Specialisation in what their roles are when it comes to workplace safety

– Awareness of how to identify, prevent, and remove work safety hazards

– Knowledge of proper practices to stay safe when completing tasks

Education is critical in your journey to reduce the frequency and number of accidents in the workplace. One obstacle you may face when trying to implement training is that most educational sessions are boring and last longer than an employee is able to focus. Working with a professional trainer who creates high energy content and uses methods like storytelling to keep employees engaged could help you provide effective training and ensure your employees don’t lose interest midway through the session.

Motivate your staff to follow safety policies        

Empowering staff through your approach to safety management can trigger great results for your company. However, if this is the first time you have created a safety management program, you may have no idea how to do it. Safety management professionals state that a common problem with safety management programs is that they focus on ways to prevent injuries by highlighting how dreadful getting injured is, therefore scaring workers. While the strategy can be effective to an extent, it doesn’t motivate employees to strive to stay safe and protect the ones around them.

The best safety management programs promote safety with the help of ongoing modifications, consistent reinforcement, and continuous education.

It’s natural for your staff to want to finish their work on schedule, but you should ensure they understand that taking shortcuts that could pose a danger to their safety isn’t the way.