Putting a law in the books is merely a symbolic gesture until the agencies are sworn to uphold it, take to the streets, and crack down on the violators. The same holds true for a workplace safety program. No matter how comprehensive the requirements and procedures, without a guiding presence patrolling the facility and enforcing safety rules in the workplace, the program cannot achieve its goal of eliminating unsafe conditions and behaviors.
Of course, prevention is the most important aspect of any enforcement effort and the most effective tool towards achieving the ultimate goal of keeping your staff safe. Thorough facility assessments should routinely be performed to identify all hazards. Policies and procedures are then established to mitigate these hazards, and hazards are clearly communicated and protected against through warning signs and boundaries/barriers.
Enforcement efforts geared towards workplace safety initiatives are most often comprised of a combination of incentives to encourage compliance and disciplinary measures to correct dangerous behaviors. It’s important to remember that in both cases, your enforcement efforts could be counterproductive or leave you vulnerable to OSHA violations if not properly and consistently administered. The most effective safety programs are ones that empower workers to identify and report/correct problems; however, it is vital that top down support be provided to ensure any safety program’s success.
An effective safety incentive program will declare workplace safety initiatives and have well-defined goals, be easy to understand, promote camaraderie, instill motivation, and provide a reward that inspires compliance. Constant communication is also a key component. The kickoff of a safety incentive program will generate buzz and excitement but soon the workday routine will return. Complacency is the enemy of conscientiousness, which is why continuous training and annual hazard assessments are key to a successful safety program.
Yet, even when all of these factors are present and accounted for, there are still challenges for the staff. The lure of a prize or incentive could cause an employee to fail to report an injury. If the incentive is group-based, i.e. a team or shift of employees stand to win or lose together, then peer pressure can play a role in the non-reporting of an injury. Not only does this threaten the well-being of the injured employees, it may leave the employer subject to violations or litigation.
The non-reporting of injuries can also serve to mask weaknesses in a safety program. While unfortunate, injuries are nevertheless good indicators of gaps or oversights in current safety procedures and as such provide an important learning experience when properly investigated and mitigated.
It is important to remember that the reporting of injuries is always a protected activity. A major component of a successful safety enforcement program is the creation of a culture that is free of fear that reporting will result in retaliation in any manner.
Imposing disciplinary measures for violating safety rules can also be problematic. As with incentives, there is potential that injuries will go unreported, in this case, to avoid whatever sanctions have been set forth. Yet other, more complex, issues must also be addressed.
It is clear that an employee should not be punished for being injured. Any discipline that arises would be in response to the failure to follow established procedures, which in turn resulted in the injury. A problem may arise when a safety program is administered in such a way that injuries are the only indicator that procedures are not being followed. If it can be shown that employees who have violated rules, but had not been injured, faced no discipline, then punishing injured employees could be considered discriminatory according OSHA regulations.
LP Management Services specializes in developing safety programs that are comprehensive, clear, and maximize compliance. In addition, LP associates can also provide quality training on a wide range of areas, including electrical, mechanical, building automation and fire protection, and general safety and OSHA compliance.
Contact LP Management Services to establish a comprehensive safety program that supports enforcing safety rules in the workplace. Let safety rule your workplace and you’ll benefit from a more productive workforce. Get Started. Get Safe. казино адмирал онлайн бесплатно