Throughout the years, workplace safety has come a long way with advancements in safety equipment and guidance from regulatory agencies like OSHA. However, the majority of Wisconsin workers believe there is still more businesses can do to provide a safe and healthy work environment according to our recent research study with the Wisconsin Safety Council.
Professionals across the state indicate they still face common safety hazards on-the-job, including:
- Exposure to sick coworkers (85%)
- Interaction with hazardous materials/chemicals (80%)
- Standing for more than 2 hours in a row (80%)
By elevating your existing safety programs to better address key risks at your company, you are safeguarding your employees, your business reputation and your bottom line. Here are three strategies that will help you raise the safety bar.
1. Audit Your Safety Program
For some, the word “audit” can be a little intimidating—we’re scared it will reveal costly mistakes or force us to change our way of doing business. The reality is, if you’re looking to set a higher bar for safety at your workplace, you need to compare workers’ behaviors against the current safety program and written manual. This doesn’t have to be scary. Through routine and surprise inspections, you can determine where additional training may be needed. Or, work with an outside safety professional to help identify what’s working and how to take the program to a higher level. To learn more about safety program audits, download the Work Safe in Wisconsin e-book.
2. Never Stop Learning
Set aside time and financial resources for continuous safety education. Not only will this help ensure your safety programs continue to be top-notch, but it will also help you build a true safety culture—a sense of security felt by every employee, company-wide. Seek out safety trade shows, conferences and webinars and encourage workers to do the same to stay aware of the latest trends, regulations and best practices.
There also are professional designations for workplace health and safety. Some of which have educational requirements. For example, the Certified Safety Professional® designation requires a bachelor’s degree in a qualified academic program and four years of work experience, while the Associate Safety Professional® certification only requires a bachelor’s degree and one year of work experience. By completing these specialized exams, it proves you possess the most up-to-date knowledge and skills required to prevent unsafe behaviors and promote a safer work environment.
3. Network with Safety Pros
Don’t underestimate what you can learn from others. Get involved with local safety professionals to learn what works well at their companies and what new things you could try at your business. Joining state and regional groups, like the Wisconsin Safety Council, will open the door to fresh insights and perspectives. Talk with people at different experience levels and in a variety of industries for a broader understanding of how to continue to improve safety at your company.
For more safety solutions that will help protect you and your employees, download our free Work Safe in Wisconsin e-book.