Safety seems like such a natural part of the developed world. We check out the safety reports before we purchase a new car. We demand our children wear bicycle helmets and buckle their seat belts before we start. Even our mattresses have warning labels on them. Some might say the culture of safety has gone to far when a Batman Halloween costume has to come with a label that says: “Warning: Suit does not enable user to fly.” But the fact remains that workplace safety, where we will spend 1/3 of our adult lives, doesn’t get the same kinds of conversations.
In fact, we rarely talk about safety in the workplace, but an average of 3 million people this year will face some kind of injury on the job. Creating a culture of safety has several moving parts, all of which management must address to create the best possible environment. What are those parts?
Assessing the culture is a critical starting point. Identifying the everyday behaviors in the work place turns over clues to unsafe practices. It’s not enough to have a plan on paper. How does the plant actually respond to safety protocol? Are there procedures that make them less safe? Have you not gone far enough? Once the ground culture has been established, then you can begin risk management – assessing, identifying and controlling exposure to safety hazards. Include critical employees on this measure. They use the equipment; they understand safety probably better than your safety inspectors do. Compliance is the last critical piece of the puzzle. Of course there is regulatory requirements that must be met. But you also must have employee buy in to create a lasting culture of safety.
Remember, controlling exposure to safety risks doesn’t always mean avoiding the obvious forklift barreling down the plant floor. It can mean unnecessary exposure to workplace conditions that create hazards years down the road. How do your operators handle vibration exposure or noise pollution? Could you upgrade equipment, like your static mixers or your desuperheaters that are not only technologically superior, but safer on your employees as well?
Safety requires looking at all possible options from multiple angles. Komax can help you upgrade your equipment, save money and provide a safe work environment all while adding to your bottom line.