Submitted by Graham Shippy – Safex, Inc.
Part of planning for the upcoming year includes establishing your business goals and what you’d like to achieve. Research shows that when a business has measurable goals in place, they’re more likely to accomplish them. Further, more than three-quarters of small business owners say they haven’t achieved their vision for their company. Your business goals generally should include number of customers served, revenue, training and professional development, strong recruiting, etc. But they should also include goals for your safety program, which if reached, can have results far greater than happy and healthy employees (which is wonderful in itself).
An effective safety program reduces both direct and indirect costs associated with accidents and injuries, increases productivity and increases employee morale. Additionally, improvement in your program is one area in which you can see positive effects to your organization’s bottom line. Much like your business’ goals for the year, your safety program goals will depend on the current status of your program. You may want to have 95% of all your staff current with their training, reduce your lost time accidents by 10%, or perhaps cut workers’ compensation costs by 20%.
No matter the goals, the goal setting process can be overwhelming and time consuming, and “where to start?” is a common question. When planning your 2015 health and safety goals, consider the following suggestions:
- Begin by assessing your current program and policies to determine what changes are needed in order to reach your goals
- Identify, evaluate and develop ways to eliminate or control workplace hazards.
- Stay current with regulatory compliance issues from OSHA or EPA – this is an important component of an effective health and safety program
- Identify ways to involve employees in the planning and execution of your health and safety program. It will be vital to its success.
- Train employees to recognize hazards and take ownership in preventing accidents.
- Establish an effective communication system that will keep everybody informed of the health and safety goals and your progress in meeting those goals.
The function of health and safety in your organization is most successful when it is considered and treated within business processes, goals and decisions. Pulling together a health and safety plan is the first step in achieving results that will pay off in the upcoming year.