5 Ways to Improve Your Safety Management Program

Safety management is extremely important when it comes to running your business, especially in the manufacturing industry where heavy machinery creates an added level of risk. A solid safety management policy is crucial to protecting your employees and your business from liability.

Here are five measures to take to improve the quality of your safety management systems.

1.Be a Safety Leader, Not a Safety Manager

When it comes to safety, the best thing to do is lead by example. The difference is in how you implement your safety management systems. A manager simply lays out the rules and expects employees to follow them. A leader follows those rules themselves and communicates clearly why these rules are important safety measures — rather than just more additions to a long list of directives that are “company policy.”

2. Follow the POLICE Model

James Kendrick, President of the American Society of Safety Engineers, suggests that those implementing safety management policy remember the acronym POLICE, which stands for:

  • Plan – Always be planning for safety in every situation.
  • Organize – Make sure safety management is organized laterally with other business issues and not subordinated.
  • Lead – Be a leader, not just a manager.
  • Inspect – Always be on the lookout for potential safety hazards and take immediate action. Determine what created the hazard so that you can remedy it as well as prevent it from happening again.
  • Coach, Correct and Commend – Reward good safety performance with positive feedback and coach safe performance when necessary.
  • Evaluate – Continually evaluate your safety management process to make sure it is working as it should and discover ways it can be even more effective.

3. Let Safety Be Part of the Group

Don’t treat safety like a separate issue. Rather integrate it into all the other business entities. Have production meetings that include a safety component, but ensure it’s not a separate item.

When you have a separate safety meeting or safety process, it makes it seem like an afterthought, with the process being first and safety second. For safety management to be effective, employees need to feel like it is just as important as other aspects of the work.

4. Make Safety a Part of the Culture

There’s a temptation to try to scare employees into obeying safety management protocols with tales of potential injury or worse, but this approach usually doesn’t have long-term effectiveness. If you can instill a rational, cultural determination that good safety is a part of good work, it will be much more likely your safety measures will stick.

5. Make Everyone Accountable for Safety

Good safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility. If you let management take the responsibility away from the employees, they may not be at their best when it comes to maintaining safety protocols.

If each employee feels that everyone’s safety is their personal responsibility, you should get much better results when it comes to good adherence to your safety management program.

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