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Workplace Safety: Five Important Protocols

The tragic recent explosion in Tianjin, China demonstrates how significantly hazardous job site conditions potentially affect the well being and livelihoods of workers. Every employer’s maintains a responsibility to try and provide as secure and comfortable a workplace as possible for the organization’s employees. Taking this step promotes stronger company morale. It also enhances safety for the community.

What protocols promote improved safety in the workplace? Answering this questions proves difficult sometimes. Many different types of businesses exist in the world. Often, workers in certain industries encounter special risks. Yet most authorities agree that adhering to basic safety protocols contributes to greater workplace safety.

Observe Safety Laws

Although this point strikes most business owners as obvious, a company should strive to remain fully compliant with prevailing safety laws at all times. Surpassing these regulations could prove advisable.

Some nations, such as the United States, benefit from numerous regulations mandating minimum safety requirements in most industries. While some business executives complain about excessive regulations, few would challenge the fundamental importance of adhering to safety laws as a minimum standard of day to day operations. These rules exist for a reason: they further occupational well being.

Organizations which scoff at safety laws frequently find themselves the subject of unwelcome litigation and accidental losses. No one should permit the firm’s safety protocols to fall below the minimum standard established by local safety ordinances.

Communicate With Workers About Safety Issues

Safety consultants heartily endorse communicating with workers about safety issues. Establish protocols to make certain that you keep workers informed about hazards within their environment. Share the best ways to avoid health problems. This step often results in the development of a corporate culture of safety which produces dividends for years.

Train New Workers in Best Practices

A corollary of employer communications about safety involves setting up procedures to train new workers carefully. Experienced employees usually know the best techniques to accomplish work efficiently and safely. This knowledge should not come as a result of trial and error alone. Lean management benefits when everyone understands the scope of daily tasks and achieves confidence in performing necessary safety activities.

Maintain Written Guidelines

Today many companies invest time in preparing written guidelines for everything from employment disputes to social media postings. How foolish then to ignore drafting written protocols for approaching safety problems that workers should expect to encounter frequently within a given business. By establishing a “best practices” manual to help handle issues such as a holdup at a 24/7 retail outlet or a fire concern at an oil refinery, the firm helps offer some direction to employees about possible hazards they might encounter on the job.

Obtain Feedback Frequently From Employees

Any written protocols should include obtaining frequent worker feedback within each department. Often conducting an office safety meetings provides an informal way for an immediate supervisor to hear the specific concerns about safety from the individuals most impacted by a potential hazard. Feedback enables the company to keep its safety protocol for specific threats current. Adopting a policy of never punishing whistle blowers who voice complaints about possible safety issues helps a firm maintain a corporate safety culture more effectively. The company won’t encounter as many unpleasant and unwelcome surprising accidents if managers encourage candor and unpenalized safety reporting.

An Illustration

One good example of the business value of implementing safety protocols emerges from a consideration of the excellent record developed in this area by Alcoa. The mining company excelled in safety during the tenure of CEO Paul O’Neill. By paying closer attention to safety issues, Alcoa actually improved efficiency. The time lost as a result of injuries sustained on the job dropped significantly from 1.82 to 0.2, according to Steve Chang.

Worker Safety Benefits Business

Alcoa’s experience demonstrates that taking steps to enhance worker safety consciousness offers benefits in productivity and morale. Safety protocols pay excellent dividends.

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