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Starting a Safety Program for Small Business
The purpose of a safety program is to involve employees in achieving and maintaining a safe, healthful workplace. This program will have a safety committee that will discuss and find solutions to problems that can cause accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Fewer accidents, injuries, and illnesses will lower your workers’ compensation costs and insurance premium rates and can increase your profit. There are steps that must be taken for a safety committee and program to be an effective one. These steps will include: In holding weekly safety meetings and if your business has 10 or fewer employees, it would be beneficial to have employees attend safety committee meetings. Low-hazard workplaces such as office settings may substitute monthly meetings for weekly meetings.
Discuss what everyone can do to achieve or maintain a safe, healthful workplace. Focus on just one important topic, such as controlling an existing hazard or identifying an unsafe work practice. If you have a construction business, discuss hazards at the site with the general contractor before you begin a job. Then meet regularly with your crew during the job to discuss any new hazards they may encounter and how to control them. Take minutes because they are the written record of your committee’s activities and accomplishments.
It’s an easy – but important – task. Minutes can be kept in a simple notebook and should be referred to at each new meeting. These minutes will keep track on progress on unfinished issues. Make sure that employees receive their regular wages while they attend safety committee meetings. This is law. So if someone comes in to attend from another shift, make sure they receive their pay for the time spent. All employees, including supervisors, must have a clear understanding and be accountable of the consequences for failing to fulfill their safety and health responsibilities. Make your commitment to workplace safety and health a company policy. Require your employees to follow safe work practices as a condition of employment. Ensure that your employees have the appropriate tools, equipment, and materials to do their jobs safely.
Once implemented, a safety program will become a part of the business everyday process. Through the implementing stages, employees will become a closer team and know they must look after each other. The business will show a better efficiency as well.
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