Workplace Safety Solutions
True safety in the workplace is about more than just safety equipment, best practices, or even OSHA compliance. It’s about a safety culture at your company. Transforming your organization’s outlook from mere compliance to true workplace safety requires a fundamental shift in your approach. Yet, this new approach will pay off in the long term with greater employee safety and workplace efficiency-while still being OSHA compliant. To help your company through its own safety culture transition, we’ve put together a guide on all things workplace safety—read along below in chronological order or jump to the section that interests you most.
- Safety Training
- Important Workplace Safety Measures
- Strategies to Optimize Safety in the Workplace
- Understanding How Safety Initiatives Effect Profitability and Efficiency
- How Carbis Solutions Can Help Improve the Safety of Your Workplace
Safety training is an essential part of any workplace—and is often the first step towards transitioning into a safety-oriented culture. Trained employees are better able to do their jobs efficiently and safely, but all too often training is overlooked as expensive or inconvenient. With tight timelines, it is hard to dedicate the time to making sure that the training is not only performed, but that it is performed consistently across the entire operation.
According to OSHA in 1910.30, your employees are required to be trained in how to spot fall hazard exposure and how to avoid them, as well as how to properly maintain and operate the equipment they are using to keep themselves safe. Additionally, they are required to be retrained if they don’t understand or if there are any changes to their job requirements.
Sam Carbis Solutions Group has developed and implemented a training program to train your operators to use the equipment at your facility, in the safest and most efficient way. Training includes hazard awareness, maintenance, and the proper operation of your equipment incorporating your operational guidelines. We can conduct this training onsite or online, as needed. We can also tie in to your existing employee training protocol in many situations, or help you to adopt a new one.
If you prefer, Carbis can train your own on-site trainers, allowing you to continue the training program throughout your entire facility. Safety is at the core of what we do, let us help you to keep your people safer and your products flowing.
Important Workplace Safety Measures
When it comes to safety measures to keep your workers efficient and compliant, you don’t need an exhaustive list of practices that may or may not apply to your different work sites. You need long-term principles that keep workers safe even as they’re switching work sites and scenarios. Here are seven workplace safety measures to ensure efficiency and compliance among your employees – no matter where your business takes you:
1. Know Your Safety Goals
Whether you’re setting the safety standards for your enterprise or merely enforcing them, it’s critical that you start with clear goals in mind. Generate your goals by defining what problem or safety issue you want to address, then clearly articulate how your organization plans to achieve those goal. Avoid goals with too much jargon or vague language, and include specific names, numbers or dates whenever possible. Remember that safety goals are dynamic, be sure to monitor your goals and update them when needed.
2. Perform A Job Hazard Analysis
To ensure your safety measures aren’t slowing workers down unnecessarily, you need to have a complete picture of the specific job hazards at your facility. After you’ve set your safety goals, conduct a job hazard analysis or have a safety solutions specialist conduct one for you. Once you know which job hazards exist, you will be able to analyze the pros and cons of different safety and risk reduction strategies.
3. Get Equipment-Specific Training
Instead of relying solely on documentation or the equipment itself, your employees need regular onsite training for each specific piece of equipment. In many cases, standard procedure outlines in operations manuals don’t always account for the specific workplace realities at your location. Ideally, the manufacturer offers these training sessions, and once they arrive on location, they can even help you with future safety equipment purchases before you install the wrong solution.
4. Focus on Top-To-Bottom Efficiency
Rather than just improving surface-level efficiencies with your safety policies or equipment purchases, focus on top-to-bottom efficiency throughout the entire planning process. In other words, don’t let a short-term improvement overshadow a major efficiency increase over the long term. Putting in the extra work for end-to-end efficiency early in the safety planning process increases the long-term ROI of your purchases, training sessions, and safety initiatives.
5. Aim for Consistent Improvement
After a major incident, many plant managers get distracted by solving the short-term crisis. Employees get fired, public relations is called in and legal action is taken to avoid any potential litigation. However, in order to achieve continuous improvement, you have to look beyond short-term safety fixes and invest in safety solutions that eliminate future crises altogether. Long-term improvement also means you need to consistently update your training, onboarding and safety audit processes.
6. Enforce A Safety Culture, Not Just A Compliance Checklist
Fostering a safety focused culture leads to a dramatic reduction in the accidents and injuries that devastate production efficiency. This process begins by making all of a company’s employees aware of the negative financial impact of workplace accidents. Production level employees and managers must undergo extensive and continuous safety training to preserve efficiency by reducing accidents. As new safety hazards or concerns are identified, these should be factored into clearly defined safety processes.
It’s also crucial to make sure employees understand the reasons behind proper safety processes. If a process is not clearly explained to employees, they may take a shortcut when management isn’t looking—increasing the likelihood of an accident.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Invest
No matter whether your business is a subsidiary of a larger corporation or a freestanding enterprise, budget is always a concern when it comes to safety equipment and solutions. For many companies, the total cost of ownership might look like too hefty of a price tag, barring them from purchase. But price alone shouldn’t be influencing your decision. Implementing a robust, long-term safety solution does more than just prevent costly (and possibly fatal) accidents; it also improves employee morale and potentially speeds up workflows. In addition, a new installation can be reported back to shareholders or investors for future assurance of your company’s long-term financial health.
This breakdown was just a broad overview of the high-level elements involved in a successful workplace safety program. If you interested in a more in-depth review of the topic, download our 7 Workplace Safety Measures whitepaper.
Strategies to Optimize Workplace Safety
- Consult with a Safety Solutions Expert
To get the right safety equipment and solutions for their facilities, businesses should consult with an expert safety coach. With years of experience in the safety industry, these coaches work with management and workers to fully understand the needs of each facility and the challenges each facility faces. They then make targeted recommendations, solving safety problems in the most cost-effective, comprehensive ways possible.
- Initiate Smarter, Safety-Oriented Process
Clearly defined processes go a long way toward creating a safer, more efficient production facility. When these processes are developed, it’s absolutely critical that safety and efficiency are equally considered. There are several elements to keep in mind when designing safe, efficient production processes.
Make Sure Every Process Is Clearly Defined
Make sure all of your processes are clearly defined. It’s simple enough to define a few key processes and the ways they should be accomplished. It’s crucial to account for every action a worker must take to accomplish their tasks. When there is clear direction on the best ways to complete a project, the risk of workers creating their own unsafe and inefficient solutions is eliminated.
Involve Production-Level Workers in Process Development
It’s important to involve production workers when defining production best practices. After all, no one gets a closer view of the different efficiency and safety challenges facing workers than
the workers themselves. Additionally, when workers are involved in the creation of these processes, they are more likely to follow proper procedure, even when unsupervised. When workers follow proper procedure, the risk of production-halting accidents is reduced.
Document Every Process
Thorough process documentation is crucial when it comes to boosting production efficiency and workplace safety. When each process is properly documented, production workers are able to complete any necessary task in a safe and efficient manner. Also, newly onboarded employees would have a document providing them clear direction to execute any task they are required to complete—while remaining safe.
- Implement Regular Safety Review Process
The last step to a safe and efficient workplace is to implement regular safety review processes. These processes ensure that safety remains on the minds of all employees and new threats are quickly identified.
Conduct Internal Safety Walkthroughs
Facility managers should set aside time every month during which they and their production supervisors walk through every corner of the facility, inside and out, to identify safety hazards.
Bring in An Outside Safety Expert to Conduct Periodic Reviews
It’s important to bring in a safety expert periodically. This expert helps identify additional safety hazards that may have been overlooked during internal review. He or she should also be able to suggest cost-effective upgrades to safety equipment and processes, as well as keep managers and workers up to date on the newest developments in the safety industry.
Regularly Inspect Equipment
Even the best machinery and fall prevention equipment wears down over time. To ensure your workers are not exposed to safety risks from aging equipment, facility managers should conduct regular reviews of all facility equipment to proactively address any risks.
Understand How Unsafe Practices Threaten Efficiency and Profitability
In the race to boost production efficiency, the end goal is always greater profitability. There is no value for corporations that somehow expand production output, but experience declines in profitability. In order for businesses to increase production in the most profitable way possible, there needs to be a company-wide understanding of the various ways improper safety measures threaten profits.
A lack of emphasis on safety practices often leads to accidents and injuries. Even minor injuries to workers cause production delays. Major accidents that lead to serious injury or even death result in much longer delays. Production lines stop. Internal reviews are launched. OSHA inspectors are called in.
Production facilities may come to a complete stop for hours or even days. Every hour that production areas or entire facilities remain shut down leads to more and more decreases in both production output and profitability.
- Decreases in Employee Morale
Serious workplace accidents leading to injuries also have a negative impact on employee morale. Depending on the severity of the injury, some workers who witness the injury may even have trouble returning to work, causing them to call in sick. Any shift supervisor knows that it’s nearly impossible to meet production output goals with higher-than-normal absentee rates.
These accidents may also lead to a lower level of employee satisfaction, which actually increases the chances of additional accidents occurring. In an article entitled “Job Satisfaction as Related to Safety Performance: A Case for A Manufacturing Firm” published by Coastal Carolina University, this connection is made clear. The more accidents occur, the lower employee morale falls, leading to a higher possibility of even more productivity-damaging accidents.
- The Direct and Indirect Costs of Injured Workers
Your business likely has workers’ compensation insurance. However, the impact that filing a workers’ compensation claim has on a business’s insurance premiums often exceeds the actual cost of the claim. As this article from Cavignac and Associates Insurance Brokers points out, a “$50,000 claim will ultimately end up costing you $72,000 in additional insurance premiums.” Unfortunately, that increase in premiums is not the only indirect cost of a workplace injury.
How Carbis Solutions Can Help Improve the Safety of Your Workplace
Over the past 87 years, Carbis Solutions has honored our family heritage by living out the legacy of Sam Carbis, to make people safer through innovative ideas. We believe in being faithful stewards to our customers to create a solution that helps them to do their jobs more safely and efficiently.
Whether you are manufacturing popcorn or petroleum, you need a partner who understands that you are not just a purchase order. When you reach out to Sam Carbis Solutions Group, we take the time to hear exactly what challenges you are facing and work with our design team to create the solutions that is right for you.
We are your solutions partner from budgetary idea through design implementation, and beyond. Whether you need design and build services, safety assessments, or onsite/online safety training, the staff at Sam Carbis Solutions group is here to guide you through the process.