Safety may seem obvious, but in reality, it's an ever-changing topic. Things that were routine in the workplace a couple of decades ago would strike a modern worker as jaw-dropping safety violations.
Regulations, like those set down by OSHA and other oversight agencies, often lack best practices. This gives you the opportunity to keep your business ahead of OSHA trends.
Here are five tips to make that possible:
Make Safety a Priority
The first step to staying ahead of OSHA trends is placing safety high on your to-do list. This is easy to say, but the true test in business is the amount of resources invested.
Ask yourself: are you spending enough time and money educating yourself on OSHA and general safety trends?
Have Regular Communication With Your Employees
Now that you’ve decided to make an increased investment in safety, it’s time to get everyone else involved.
Your employees can be a rich resource for improving your workplace. Collectively, they have a broad experience that might lead to insights about issues that come up. Also, they represent your eyes and ears on the work floor. They will be able to identify problems faster than you will and no one will have a better incentive to keep work safe.
A key step to staying ahead of OSHA trends is keeping yourself educated. Set aside time each month for research. Surf the net, talk to other business owners and set aside some funds to pay for consultations with experts and OSHA lawyers.
Obviously, you’re busy and even the smallest investment is a sacrifice. But it’s much more expensive to fall behind trends and have to catch up.
Don’t Delay Making Changes
This fits into the theme of being proactive. As soon as safety issues come to light, or you learn about a new OSHA trend, try to implement any necessary fixes.
This may seem expensive or disruptive in the moment, but it's likely to save money in the long run. It's the old "stitch in time saves nine" situation. Taking care of small problems on a regular basis saves big, sudden expenses down the line.
Hire Someone Specifically to Oversee Safety
Spending time and money keeping up with safety trends seems great in the abstract, but when it comes down to it, who has the time?
Because it's not an immediate concern (until there's an accident or the OSHA inspector is knocking at the door), your newly made, best-intended, forward-looking safety initiative is likely to take a back seat to things like closing sales and making your product. That's only natural.
So, give the responsibility to someone else. Create a position within your company specifically dedicated to overseeing your safety initiative. It can be full-time position or a part-time additional responsibility for one of your senior employees. Or convene a few of your more trusted workers to form a safety committee.
Looking to Update Your Safety Knowledge?
Another option is to check with your staffing agency. They have a wealth of knowledge about safety concerns facing businesses just like yours. Reach out to Qualified Staffing to discuss the subject with one of their experts.