How can we better prevent injuries in our workplace? In response to this question, the following best practices are offered as essential elements that teams may use to develop, implement and maintain programming effectiveness:
- Safety Roles and Responsibilities
- Safety Planning and Loss Analysis
- Safety Program and Process
- Education and Training
The benefits of fully utilizing each best practice includes organizational clarity, increased accountability and maximum effectiveness with injury prevention efforts. Simply put, the organization will experience a synergistic effect (i.e., more results with less effort).
So, in Part I, let’s consider the first two best practices: safety roles and responsibilities and safety planning and process.
Safety Roles & Responsibilities
Establish clearly written safety roles and responsibilities for all workers, and ensure everyone knows and understands them. List the key responsibilities for each person’s role in the program. This document should be shared with new hires during orientation training so that they immediately begin to understand the organization’s safety culture. This fosters proactive planning, clarity and accountability.
Safety Planning & Loss Analysis
Establish a planning process for setting injury prevention program goals. Create annual and quarterly goals that will achieve the desired results, and monitor progress towards them. Create focus by selecting only the most important 3-5 things to get done each year and each quarter. This takes some effort to think through and develop, but it is critical for reducing workplace injuries and creating a safe work culture. SMART1 goal setting brings about awareness, focus, accountability and results.
In preparation for the goal setting process, complete a loss analysis using workers’ compensation, auto, and general liability loss runs (Note: Goals should also include the prevention of third-party injury to foster comprehensive injury prevention!). Focus planning, goal setting, and daily efforts on prevention of the top most frequent and most severe injury types. Use simple charts and bar graphs (easily done with Excel or other spreadsheet apps) to communicate performance to all within the organization. Create awareness and maintain focus through loss analysis.
Please be sure to check next month’s article to learn about 3.) a safety program and process and 4.) education and training, and the difference between the two.
Should you require assistance with loss analysis or safety planning, please contact Gary Smith, CRM, at (517) 338-3367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources: SMART (Goal) Criteria: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria