If there is one priority every type of professional establishment has in common, it is safety. And it is not hard to see why. Every employee under the law is entitled to a safe place to work in exchange for their labour, and every employer understands that safety is key when it comes to maintaining productivity, avoiding penalties and preserving the overall integrity of their reputations.
When you are responsible for running an industrial facility, contracting business or factory, safety becomes much more than a concern. It needs to be a top priority for business to keep running smoothly. The following are some of the measures the safest industrial facilities in the world rely on. Does your establishment make the grade?
1. They go above and beyond when it comes to employee training
It is definitely important to make sure employee safety training meets any and all standards as required by the law, but when safety is a top priority, your training philosophy should not stop there. Your company most likely has its own priorities regarding projected productivity and future goals. Enhanced safety training can be an important part of meeting and exceeding your own high standards.
It is a given that new employees should receive training as part of their initial orientation. However, even long-standing employees can benefit from frequent refresher courses on important protocol. Consider making regular safety meetings a monthly or bi-monthly occurrence. Try introducing role-playing scenarios or games where appropriate to engage participants and keep the meetings fun and productive. Test employees after training on each new protocol to ensure they have absorbed all of the information.
2. They have strict policies in place regarding wearing appropriate safety gear
Whether your employees work on various job site locations or operate the same equipment and perform the same tasks daily, safety gear is a must. However, many workers fall into the habit of taking their gear on and off, especially once they become comfortable with the tasks at hand.
Establish a strict policy with clear guidelines about when and where protective equipment and gear should be worn. Post signage and directives in high traffic areas like break rooms and hallways so that everyone is re-exposed to safety rules throughout the day. Post more signage near boundaries of areas where safety wear is compulsory, to serve as reminders.
You can also encourage workers to always wear their gear by making sure it is comfortable and easy to operate. When safety gear feels natural and simple to use, workers are more likely to wear it consistently. Consider upgrading fall protection gear and safety harnesses, in particular.
3. They get employees involved by establishing safety committees
Employees of all types like to feel involved in their companies. That said any thorough safety consciousness program should involve the establishment of a safety committee. These can and should involve workers from all authority levels within the company, including, but not limited to, supervisors, safety specialists, employees and volunteers.
The first order of business in establishing a safety committee should be a thorough evaluation of the workplace as it stands. The committee should start by identifying any potential hazards that could become a problem down the line. They can also pinpoint potential changes to the existing safety education and enforcement plan. To help encourage full participation of all workers, you may want to consider an incentive program to reward extra diligent employees.
4. They perform regular maintenance checks on all equipment and gear
Even the best safety gear and professional equipment will start to show its age after a while, making it more likely to play a part in a potential accident or safety violation. Without regular maintenance checks, you cannot be absolutely sure it is functioning the way it should. Safety issues are not the only possible dangers, either. Sub-par equipment function can also add up to lost productivity, frustrating downtime and wasted resources.
Safety-conscious facility managers never wait for equipment to start showing visible signs of wear and tear. They set strict schedules for maintenance work, professional inspections and safety checks. They also make it a point to upgrade all industrial equipment and safety gear on time and never put it off.
5. They establish long-standing relationships with the equipment vendors they buy from
A given company or facility is only going to be as productive as the equipment it counts on. That said safety-conscious facility managers are scrupulous as far as the vendors they choose. They understand the benefits of buying from the same vendors repeatedly — consistent quality and order fulfillment among them. A solid choice in vendors can mean gaining instant and lasting access to industry experts who can help you make wise purchasing decisions, as well as give you pointers on how to take your safety program to the next level.
Smart facility managers choose equipment vendors like SafeRack — a company that places a high priority on safe, efficient equipment appropriate for industrial use. Kick-start the relationship by discussing your company’s safety goals and getting some recommendations for products that will align. Together, you may be able to identify problem areas that can be fixed by purchasing and installing the right items.
Are your gangway and safety cages in need of an upgrade? What is your facility’s plan in case of industrial spills? Is it time to upgrade your fall protection gear? Running a safe, productive and efficient facility is largely about implementing and enforcing safe work practices. Even the best, most fastidiously run facility can usually use some improvement. Explore the possibilities today!