A Publication of WTVP

Sprains, tears, strains and falls are familiar topics of conversation in hospital emergency rooms, but these common occupational injuries rarely make the agenda at the typical company’s staff meeting. While standard safety measures are in place in most work environments, there is often room for improvement when it comes to creating an organizational focus on safety. The monthly, weekly or daily meeting is an ideal time for employers to enhance cultural awareness of safety.

It literally takes an entire organization to build and maintain a safe workplace. Each employee, permanent or temporary, is a critical component to the success of a workplace safety program. Employers can encourage their participation with a strong commitment to accident and injury prevention.

Workplace safety programs vary in intensity based on work environment and job tasks. However, there are a few steps any employer can take to instill a commitment to safety in employees, permanent or temporary, and prevent accidents and injuries:

• Skills Assessments.
Validated employment prescreening tools measure a candidate’s aptitude or expertise at a jobrelated task prior to placement in the real work environment where accidents can occur. The results help hiring managers decide if a candidate needs more training or has the experience required for the job.

• Background Checks. A thorough review of a candidate’s personal, educational and professional background offers a cost-efficient way to confirm that all information listed on an application or resume is accurate. Hiring someone who has misrepresented their skills or experience can put the employee and other workers at risk.

• Training. It’s no secret that employees who receive proper training have fewer on-the-job accidents. In addition to any necessary skills training, general safety information and training regarding safe work habits should be part of an orientation and training program.

• Partnering Programs.
Have you discussed safety with your staffing partners? Do they have safety resources that you may not have? You may find it useful to collaborate with their resources.

• Management Endorsement. All levels of leadership must publicly support safety programs and measures. When management embraces the program, safety will become a priority for the entire staff. Managers should take an active role to ensure that the work environment is safe, plan recurring safety training for employees and including the topic in performance reviews.

In order for workplace safety programs to make an impact, the messages of the initiative need to regularly reach every employee throughout the year. The company meeting is a good reminder to create safe work environments as safety should be a top priority every day. As they say, “Make it a safe day.” IBI