It wasn’t too long ago that the term health and safety was almost completely unheard of at the senior executive levels of most companies. If the topic was raised it would often come with a myriad of questions about how much it will cost as well as the effect on productivity. Over the last several decades things have changed significantly. Companies and their respective management teams are now giving workplace safety more and more attention, understanding that while it may not benefit their profit margins directly, good health and safety practices mean saving lives, preventing unnecessary downtime, and makes for better public perception. These changes aren’t solely limited to high-risk workplaces; greater workplace safety is being considered and implemented at companies of all shapes and sizes, from construction sites to corporate offices alike.
Ensuring you have the best workplace safety possible usually starts with developing a solid health and safety program. Having a plan in place is only part of the battle, however. It’s not good enough to simply have a plan in place, it needs to be followed and maintained. If nobody puts the plan into action then your workplace has only been made safer on paper. The plan needs to evolve as new threats and risk factors are discovered. So how do you ensure your health and safety program is successful?
Strong Company-wide Commitment
The culture of a company is often set by the voice and actions of the management team. Employees at all levels will take notice of the attitudes the people above them exhibit in regards to company policy.
In order to make the program successful, everybody at the company should be on the same page about why the program is in place and what benefits it offers. An effective plan should have a strong commitment from the top down. If company executives and senior managers are seen and heard to be actively supporting the program then it’s more likely to be successful.
Understanding The Program and Benefits
It can be easy for a good health and safety program to be brushed aside as appearing to be more red tape; something that’s only there to cover legal liabilities and cost the company money. That can be especially true at the higher levels that may be far removed from the day-to-day risk factors the program is trying to mitigate. If the program is perceived by the management team as a cost-inducing inconvenience, then it’s likely that philosophy will trickle down to the people most at risk.
Educating the workforce at all levels as to the benefits of the program will help to encourage adoption. The benefits do not need to be limited to the obvious life-saving ones either. A good health and safety program will also potentially save the company time and money in liabilities and injury-related downtime. Workers will be happier and more productive if they know they are being taken care of, and it will likely generate a better public perception of the company.
Planning Is Only The First Step
Having a strong workplace safety program will help to protect your company and employees, but it has its limits. Even companies with strict health and safety programs and procedures suffer incidents. A good health and safety program should be a living and evolving thing. The program and procedures should undergo regular assessment and update to incorporate previously unknown risks or new and safer procedures.
The program should be regarded as a minimum requirement rather than an absolute solution. Workers and management alike should be encouraged to take proactive initiative based action when they perceive a threat to safety.
How Can Conserve Help?
A program is only as good as the people implementing it. With Conserve’s advanced contractor risk management system, you can ensure that all your workers, whether in-house or contracted, understand safe work practices. Prequalifying and Inducting your contractors through our system will enable you to work with the confidence that every employee has the requisite skills, experience and knowledge to follow your company’s health and safety program.
Contact us today to learn more and see how Conserve can help to make sure your next contractor will be your best, and safest, yet.