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The Untapped Gold Mine of Improving Safety Awareness

Occupational safety is a petulant issue that generates discussions and disagreements in equal measure. The level of concern varies from one industry and hence higher in construction and oil and gas industries. Often, small businesses take little interest owing to the perceived investments required to achieve a safe working environment. In fact, some fail to see the possibility of severe injuries that are likely to drive their operations into financial peril.

Often, companies get mixed up on the appropriate approach to adopt owing to numerous perceptions associated with each. Occupational safety experts highlight the need for integrating security into the company’s structure while employing safety leadership at work. To prevent accidents, safety awareness ought to be instilled among the employees and treated as a core business of the organization.

Hiring Smart

When companies experience higher demand, expansions are inevitable. In an attempt to meet the demand, companies may be tempted to make quick hires without conducting sufficient background checks. In the short term, it may give the desired results, but at the expense of the long-term sustainability. In such instances, it’s possible to fall prey to incompetent candidates that increase the risk of accidents in the business. Hiring competent staff makes it easy to orient and train safety measures.

Inducting New Employees

When it comes to security features and procedures, a majority of new staff understand the basic precautions required in a workplace. Nevertheless, most are not aware of the particular strategies used to report incidents as they differ from one company to the other. Upon employment, you need to teach new staff of the company’s procedures and means of communicating events. Using physical aides and past occurrences helps in inculcating safety cognizance.

Zero Tolerance Policy

It starts with management, if you cannot adhere to the rules in totality, your employees are likely to follow suit. Let them know that violations are not tolerated and make them own the process of reporting any violations. It creates a safe working environment where employees are on the lookout on any one, or situation that is likely to jeopardize their safety.

It’s most likely that some workers tie unsafe behaviors with higher productivity, and often get away with near misses that could be fatal. Believing that there is always a safe way to do things, and ample time to deliver leaves no opportunity for staff to choose productivity over safety. They need to share the same vision and provide without causing injuries. 

Regular Training

In most companies, workers strive to hit set targets, and hence gradually sink to complacency. Despite the initial induction, there is need to keep them in check as some tend to forget the basics of the training. It’s vital to assess the level of awareness to develop a training program that best suits particular groups. Often, training fail to make an impact when they do not address specific challenges facing the implementation process.

Scheduled Safety Weeks

Like other annual activities, workers need an opportunity to break from the daily strenuous tasks and apply the set standards in an exciting way. Nothing provides that than a safety week where they get to interact with experts that give a new perspective on occupational health. The week should give workers a setting different from the organization while hiring professional service providers signals the company’s commitment to the goal.

With numerous sessions organized for the safety week, the company’s management ought to take a back seat and only appear when required. The occurrences of the week need to rest upon the employees and the facilitators to enhance interactions. Employees with related stories, or company history concerning safety may be useful in actualizing the need for others to adhere to the industry requirements.

Incentives

When companies recognize employees based on the ability to complete tasks on time, it creates a sense of “whichever the route,” that often compromises on safety. For this reason, there is need to develop a matrix that includes safety record as a basis for rewards. It gives a clear indication that it’s best to keep safe than achieve high numbers by compromising workers safety.

Also, holding security challenges using groups instills a sense of responsibility, as the teams seek to scoop the rewards. Working groups appoint safety champions that ensure all members adhere to regulations and keep track of the progress. Monthly recognitions may be instituted for the best performing teams in line with the set indicators.

Periodic Safety Drills

When it comes to safety, training takes huge preference among industry players. It’s the means to measure the awareness that tends to drag a company’s vision of an accident-free environment. Drills work best in manufacturing and oil refineries where employees show their response to a planned scare that occurs without notice. It is the best way to measure awareness and hence device ways to improve the safety at work.

Hiring Security Executives

Other than the numerous strategies to improve workers safety, employers need to consider hiring professionals to provide ongoing support to the business. Ergonomists to assist employees in achieving right body posture that minimizes injuries. Training alone may not provide sufficient coverage to the day to day risks and hence the need for an in-house person that better understands the environment.

Positive Language

If you are looking to increase safety awareness, you need to avoid prohibitive words, as they only serve to intimidate the teams. In most instances, workers adhere to the rules to avoid punishment. It creates little ownership among the employees and is likely to fail in the long run. Using positive words enables the operators to incorporate safety as part of their routine job. Managers need to use similar criteria when delivering security-related presentations.

Frequent Inspections

Despite the numerous efforts to educate workers on occupational health, the environment within which they work ought to guarantee safety. Nonetheless, once a safe workstation may turn unsafe over time, posing a risk of injuries to the staff. In lieu with that, the safety team needs to conduct periodic risk assessments and condone areas that deem unsafe. It’s from the evaluations that they identify the gaps within the floor and among the working teams.

While in-house executives might be sufficient, most companies consider hiring specialist service providers to give an expert opinion on safety. Often, these companies come with vast experience and help benchmark your business with peers across the industry. Nevertheless, they only need to come on a need basis, to provide strategic support to the in-house team.

Physical Signs

Regardless of the type of the business, safety signs remain standard across all industries. That makes it easy to induct experienced employees to the system as they may have interacted with them at their former company. Signs work best in areas that pose a high risk of accidents such as warehouses, construction sites, petrol stations, oil refineries, manufacturing units and mining among others. They serve to remind the workers, often tired, when they are about to get close to a risk, and hence the need to observe safety precautions.

Protective Equipment

A company cannot claim to promote workers safety without providing a safe working environment. On top of the physical installations, the workers need the right tools and protective gear to cushion them from the impacts of accidents. In heavy duty operations, workers need safety wears such as gloves, shoes, helmets, caps and eyeglasses among others. In case you are stuck on these requirements, oil & gas safety Supply is a one stop shop for high quality yet affordable gear.


Michael Snyder
Michael Snyder

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