COVID19 is indeed taking center stage in terms of safety and health and rightfully so. However, as companies and employees return to work it is important to never forget the OTHER safety practices that been put in place to protect your employees and guarantee success for your respective businesses.
To help us to remember to keep those safety success stories here are a few comments and guidance to aid in your re-start activities
In order for a Safety Program to be successful it takes an effort from both management & employees. Management obviously has the major responsibility. It is management that establishes the safety culture, provides leadership & sets the tone
However, management cannot by themselves ensure the Safety Program will meet its goal of protecting the company’s most vital assets. Employees need to take an active role & take responsibility for their individual safety. Yet, all too often, employees take their safety for granted. Accidents happen to other people or complying with the safety rules are too much to bother. Personal safety unfortunately is not always an employee’s top priority.
It only takes a second for a serious accident to take place. If one does, it can have serious long term affects to the employee, his/her family and the company. Add to this the impact on the company’s Workers’ Compensation cost. No one wins when a serious accident takes place.
Therefore, employee safety responsibilities should be developed & clearly communicated to all employees. These should be posted in the work area & become the guide for your employees to follow every day.
There are a number of different items that can be listed, but I have reviewed these over the years and believe the following are
The 10 Key Employee Safety Responsibilities.
Always Get a Good Nights Rest – It is important that employees come to work rested and ready for work. Many accidents happen in the first couple of hours of work. Fatigue robs the body of vitality and puts an employee at serious risk of injury.
Do Not Use Drugs or Overdue Alcohol – Drugs & alcohol use interfere with both mental & physical capacity. The mind slows down & physical activities are impaired.
Maintain a Good Safety Attitude – This is critical. All too often employees develop a bad safety attitude & this causes them to put themselves at risk or they do not follow company’s safety rules.
Be Alert at All Times – Pay attention to what is going on at all times. Watch out for other employees. Communicate with other employees. Do not be on automatic pilot, stay focused on the job at hand.
Think Before You Act – Safety has to be proactive not reactive. Good decisions are critical to safety.
Do Not Hurry or Take Shortcuts – Employees often feel either self imposed or external pressures. Many times this leads to hurry or shortcuts. Neither are good. Hurry denotes actions out of control without thought. Shortcuts are accidents waiting to happen
Follow All Company Safety Policies & Rules This should be a condition of employment. Rules are developed to protect the safety of each employee. Failure to follow these could put an employee’s safety at risk & other employees who may work with the employee
Wear Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – PPE should be issued where necessary. Employees should use the PPE and maintain the PPE in usable sanitary condition.
Inspect Tools & Equipment Frequently – Tools & equipment should be inspected regularly by employees to ensure they are safe. Unsafe tools & equipment should be reported immediately. Also, use the right tools for the job.
Practice Good Housekeeping at All Times – The number 1 most common type of accident is slips, trips and falls. Good housekeeping goes a long way in reducing these. Good housekeeping is also a reflection on the employee’s safety attitude. Poor housekeeping habits impair an employee’s ability to be safe.