Risk Management: Five Ways to Prevent Workplace Hazards

You may have the strongest and most effective policies in place when it comes to addressing and documenting workplace injuries. When your employees experience any incident, from a fall in an icy parking lot to a malfunctioning pressure valve on a dangerous machine, your HR, safety, and legal teams swoop to the rescue of both the person and the company. But here’s an even better way to deal with workplace incidents: prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are five steps that can derail unfortunate incidents long before they take place.

Perform Regular Audits

Choose simple, easy-to-measure safety metrics that can guide your entire program. Then record these metrics at least once and ideally several times per year. For example: measure the number of falls that occur on your shop floor, the number of hard hat rule violations each quarter, the number of machinery jams per week, or the number of times a cleaning inspection reveals cut corners. Use these metrics to monitor larger problems and address the issues that lie beneath. Too many hard hat violations, for example, can suggest deep flaws or gaps in your safety-gear training program.

Act Quickly and Decisively on Safety Reports

If an employee reports a potentially dangerous chemical leak, a wobbly hand rail, a strange smell, or weak adherence to safety rules on the part of a manager or superior, act on these reports quickly. Don’t allow them to accumulate or go unaddressed. Review your response record, and no matter how swiftly and effectively these complaints are dealt with, find room for improvement.

Update Your Data Platforms

Your reports are filed into your software system after they’re submitted, and you have the ability to call them up and review them at a glance. But can you cross reference different data feeds? Can you review the data in real time? Can you isolate certain metrics from others and determine if there’s a correlation between, for example, cold weather and a rise in PTO days? If you can’t do this with your current system, it may be time for an upgrade.

Refresh Manager Training Programs

Train your managers carefully, and provide refresher training as often as necessary. Not only should managers know how to explain and enforce safety rules (like preflight machinery reviews), they should also set an impeccable example. If they violate a safety rule, cut a corner, or put an employee in harm’s way for any reason, the consequences should be serious and well understood.

Use Digital Monitoring

Keep track of climate conditions, temperature, hazardous fumes, noise levels, vibrations, and other potential dangers with reliable measuring and recording tools. Don’t allow human judgement and human error to determine the definition of a “hazard”.

For more on how to keep your workplace and your employees safe, reach out and arrange a consultation with the experts at Lift Temp.