We’ve written extensively about the topic of workplace safety over the past few weeks, covering federal safety posting requirements, the process the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uses to conduct worksite inspections, and what a successful safety program looks like. What we haven’t really touched on, however, is why employers should make safety such an integral part of both their day-to-day operations as well as their overall company culture.
As an employer, you don’t just have an ethical obligation to provide a safe working environment for your employees – you have a legal obligation as well. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 established that employers have certain responsibilities when it comes to their workers’ safety, including providing a safe working environment free from serious recognized hazards. Companies who are found to be out of compliance with OSHA’s established health and safety standards can find themselves facing significant fines or even lawsuits.
A true culture of safety, however, focuses less on these obligations and more on the tangible and intangible benefits a commitment to workplace safety can provide: lower costs associated with work-related injuries and illnesses, increased worker productivity and higher overall levels of employee engagement.
Safety Culture vs. Safety Program
If your organization has a formal safety program in place, congratulations. You’re already one step ahead of many of your peers. But having a safety program doesn’t necessarily equate to having a culture of safety.
A safety program consists of established policies and procedures designed to prevent incidents and mitigate risk. While these policies and procedures are certainly necessary, think of them more as building blocks for your safety culture, not your end goal. The same goes for things like personal protective equipment (PPE), regular audits and workplace ergonomics initiatives.
A safety culture is more of an attitude or approach. When an employer makes a conscious effort to integrate safety into every facet of its business model, then, and only then, have they achieved a truly effective safety culture.
Four absolutely essential things employers have to start doing in order to create an effective safety culture:
At G&A Partners, we believe prevention is the best defense against workplace accidents. Our team of highly trained workplace safety and risk management professionals help our clients design and administer safety programs that not only ensure they remain compliant with federal safety standards, but also provides them with the training, resources and support they need to make sound decisions regarding the health and safety of their employees.
G&A Partners’ workplace safety services include:
To learn more about our workplace safety services, call 1-866-634-6713 to speak to an expert, or visit https://www.gnapartners.com/contact-us/ to schedule a free business consultation.