2019 saw a total of 5,333 workplace fatalities recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, another 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses ravaged the workforce. Then, 2020 brought in its own health and safety challenges with the addition of a pandemic.
To maintain an accident-free workspace, businesses must be prepared to meet all the challenges of the modern world head-on. This means developing a multi-faceted strategy for employee safety.
First, let’s define what exactly a multi-faceted strategy for employee safety is and what it entails.
Every business decision-maker should understand the need for policies that keep the workplace safe and accident-free. Whether you approach the situation concerned with liability or the immediate effects on employee health and morale, a comprehensive safety plan is invaluable for any business. However, many managers fail to consider all of the elements of true workplace safety.
For example, EHS surveys show that business leaders want to improve various aspects of their safety approaches. Common areas of concern include:
- Incentives and recognition
All of these components are vital to a truly multi-faceted approach to employee safety. With a plan for accident prevention that puts a clear focus on human elements like communication and recognition, managers can host a more risk-free environment. At the same time, consistency across training programs and safety measures help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks — especially not your workers.
To achieve this, a multi-faceted employee safety program makes use of data and technology, effectively communicated business plans, and strict health and safety policies. Installing such a program can help you secure vital industrial hygiene, saving you as much as $3,600 per year in employee absenteeism alone. Additionally, you will be better prepared to address everything from air contaminants to ergonomic hazards.
Developing your multi-faceted strategy for employee safety comes down to three simple steps. Beginning with the processes necessary for catching all safety risks in a digitally-aided environment, your employee safety plan can add transparency and support across your business.
Follow these strategies for developing the kind of safety plan you need to mitigate as many risks as possible:
Implementing an effective plan for data management and communication is instrumental in identifying hazards and taking the guesswork out of safety. Modern industrial tools such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and cloud Safety Management Systems (SMS) can offer unprecedented views into risk factors that occur in the workplace.
Your multi-faceted approach should marry modern technology with a comprehensive view of the safety issues that can occur in your business. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that common injuries occur as transportation accidents, slips and falls, contact with equipment, and exposure to harmful substances.
Now, monitoring equipment and cameras paired with AI algorithms can make even transportation safer through dashboard-mounted tools. By using connected sensory equipment to help identify risks, you can maintain a transparent view of the workplace that warns you and your employees whenever an issue may occur.
Your next step in guaranteeing worker safety should come in the form of your program development and resource planning. With the right plan of attack, you can gather the feedback, provide the resources, and secure the practices that you need to maintain a safe and efficient workplace.
A good place to start is with a corporate wellness program. Such a program can help cultivate engaging conversations about health and safety in the workplace and provide all new insights for management into where employees are encountering safety challenges and where they struggle to follow the safety provisions that keep them safe.
By creating such a program, you invite feedback through dialogue with workers. This in turn will help you cultivate the resources and tools needed to keep workers safe. From healthcare benefits to PPE needs to incentives for following the rules, your multi-faceted safety strategy will be made or broken in the planning stage.
After identifying hazard potential and collaborating with employees for a safety plan, your next step is the effective execution of that plan. But going about this might be easier said than done. After all, many accidents occur through overlooking signage or workplace conditions that can cause problems.
The best way to mitigate these risks is to build safety into your company culture. This includes a system of consistent training, accountable reporting without retaliation, and incentivized rule-following.
By addressing health and safety concerns with ongoing employee training, you reinforce the importance of this information. While it may not be the most fun for your employees, you can open up the discussion for a more back and forth dialogue that invites engagement. Then, ensure a policy of accountable reporting is followed with every incident that occurs. Doing so requires a strict guarantee against employer retaliation. Incentives can even be built into such a procedure, with some kind of bonus offered for reported accidents or challenges.
Strong safety cultures have been proven time and time again to improve company morale and productivity. By maintaining strict health and safety policies, you secure a better workforce. Cover all your bases with a multi-faceted strategy for employee safety and reap the rewards of a safer workplace.