January 31, 2013 1 Comment
As editorial coordinator at Texas Mutual, I’ve been working closely with our loss prevention pros for a long time. I’m no safety expert, but I figure I’ve got an inch and half, maybe an inch and three-quarters, worth of knowledge.
Still, teaching employers how to prevent workplace accidents is one of the most important things we do at Texas Mutual. So, I decided to dig a little deeper. In fact, I recently earned my OSHA 10-hour safety certification.
The courses covered general industry, but some of the information was technical and difficult to apply to my job. That is, unless my editing pen explodes and I get toxic, red dye in my eyes.
The certification was certainly not a waste of time, though. I learned a handful of basic principles any business can follow to improve their safety program.
Accidents aren’t inevitable
Workplace accidents are not an inevitable cost of doing business. Maybe you can’t afford a full-time safety officer. What you can do is take advantage of the free resources available to you.
Texas Mutual policyholders can visit the safety resource center at texasmutual.com for online videos, safety programs and interactive tools.
If you’re not a Texas Mutual policyholder, you can access free resources through these government entities:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/az/a.html
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: http://www.osha.gov/dte/library/index.html
- Texas Department of Insurance: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/safety/index.html
Safety starts with management
Employees take their cues from management. If management demonstrates its commitment to safety, employees are more likely to follow suit. Show employees you’re serious about safety by investing in personal protective equipment. Train employees to do their jobs safely. Maintain an open-door policy so employees feel comfortable reporting unsafe conditions. Finally, follow the same safety procedures you expect employees to follow.
Safety should be a value
Safety should be a value in your company, not a priority. You see, priorities change with circumstances. Values, on the other hand, should be unshakeable. When safety matures from a priority to a value, it becomes a permanent fixture in your company culture.
Accountability is key
I can’t tell you how many times I heard something along these lines during my 10 hours of OSHA training: “Management is responsible for providing personal protective equipment, but it is up to each employee to use the equipment when required.”
The best safety programs thrive on accountability. You can provide all the training and equipment in the world, but ultimately, your employees’ safety is in their hands.
Texas Mutual is on a mission to make our state a safer, more productive place to do business. You can help us by making these principles of safety part of your daily routine.