What does it take to cultivate a safe workplace? For many companies, the answer is simply the rules and regulations in place to address injuries and illnesses. However, the number of accidents and insurance claims can decrease even further with an increased focus on the culture of the firm.
According to Business Insurance, there is a key distinction between safety and compliance, and employers who take this difference into account are more likely to see a reduction in on-the-job illnesses and injuries. Recently, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration assistant secretary David Michaels explained to the news source about what companies must do to improve safety.
"We want to see employers go beyond what we sometimes call the 'culture of compliance,'" Michaels told Business Insurance. "There are so many ways people are hurt that are not necessarily covered by a standard, so we want employers to embrace a different approach, and safety culture is one aspect of that."
For example, workers who are following protocols aren't always safe, the media outlet noted. They could be exposed to hazards because they aren't paying attention, are standing in the wrong place or are in danger due to the actions of other employees. Therefore, employers and workers must establish a culture that encourages safe behaviors, and they should find creative ways to mitigate risks and ensure a minimal likelihood of an accident.
Establish a sound safety culture
Building a safety culture can have a widespread, positive effect on a company. Getting all those involved working together toward a common goal can reduce insurance claims, prevent accidents and boost morale, among other results. With that in mind, companies today should focus on creating an environment conducive to safe behavior.
Thankfully, this is relatively simple. Talent management and human resources website TLNT.com explained that health and safety is crucial to success for many organizations, including those in the manufacturing, construction and engineering sectors. For starters, this can be achieved by recognizing safe actions taken by workers. When someone in the company does something right, there should be a recognition program in place to congratulate them. This way, everyone will be encouraged to follow their example.
In addition, TLNT.com recommended placing an emphasis on rewarding safe behavior, not just stressing the value of avoiding dangerous incidents. On a daily basis, all employees should understand the company-wide approach to risk management and realize that a more in-depth focus on health and safety can be rewarding.