7 tips for boosting safety performance in 2014

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If improving safety performance is one of your New Year's resolutions, we've identified seven essential elements to help you get there. Read on to learn what others have done to reach the top.

1. Engage employees. Involving employees in the safety process permits them to demonstrate their commitment while building pride, ownership, and skills. Start with an employee survey to identify the issues that matter most to your workers and where they feel improvement is needed. Involve employees in safety planning. Send them out to divisions of your company or other businesses to learn about best practices.

2. Identify and report hazards. The process of eliminating a hazard starts with identifying and reporting it. One large industrial site posts a safety logbook at each of its locations. Employees are encouraged to enter risks or safety concerns into the book. Another proven tactic is maintaining a library of up-to-date job hazard analyses (JHAs).

3. Get the most from your managers and supervisors. Managers and front-line supervisors have the most direct access to workers. Their actions, reactions, and attitudes can have a huge impact on employees’ safety performance. Make sure your managers and supervisors:

  • Routinely discuss safety at staff and employee meetings;
  • Attend and participate in safety committee meetings;
  • Conduct facility walkarounds, noting best practices or areas in need of improvement;
  • Use coaching and feedback to encourage safe behaviors;
  • Launch accident investigations as soon as possible and follow up to identify corrective actions; and
  • Make it clear to employees that they may shut down an operation if they believe conditions are unsafe or unhealthful.

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