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10 Tools For Creating A Safe Workplace

Building a safe workplace is one of the most crucial elements of creating a successful business. The following list provides 10 tools towards building a safe workplace, while also creating a strong safety culture:

1. Risk Management Program (must have). This strong program is the base towards helping a company identify, analyze, and assess towards a safe workplace. Once this has been completed, all of the risk factors are taken into consideration based on their likeliness and severity.  It is important, then, to prioritize them for risk control and loss reduction.

2. “JHA”: Job Hazard Analysis (powerful tool to reduce losses). This is a “power-first” line of defense for any working environment.  A strong JHA is fantastic at finding the specific hazards associated with a particular job, and then taking measures to control the exposure or risk.  The JHA should be an integral part of your hiring practices and overall safety program. It is also a great opportunity to foster employee engagement within your safety culture.

3. Hierarchy of Controls (the bases for risk assessment). This is the OSHA standard approach for controlling workplace hazards. Once these hazards have been identified, the Hierarchy of Controls should be used to consider the different methods for controlling that hazard. It provides a formulaic method for considering potential controls: first elimination and/or substitution, then engineering controls, work practice controls, other administrative controls, and finally PPE.  RCI discusses these fundamentals in our OSHA 10-hour and OSHA 30-hour training programs.

4. Accident Investigation Program (tool of eliminating risk factors and finding root causes of accidents). This program is designed to investigate all accidents and near misses, and also to identify the root causes and develop corrective actions that can be taken to prevent future occurrences. It is a fantastic tool for ensuring that the accident will not be a repeat occurrence. Assigning blame to employees is not the purpose of this program.

5. Streamline Manufacturing Principles with a focus on safety (make the safety numbers work). This is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing structure. It also takes into account waste created through both overburdening and unevenness in workloads.  A workplace can also significantly improve safety by staying at well-organized, waste-free, and streamlined levels.  Having standardized work processes in place will inevitably lead to fewer safety incidents. Keep in mind that being lean on safety does NOT mean cheap.  For every $1 spent on safety, you average $3 in return.

6. “LMS”: Learning Management Systems (Web-based program learning system). This is a software system used to administer, assign, deliver, track, and report on safety training (and other various methods of training).  We use these system to reinforce both our program and on-site visits.

7. Safety and Health e-Learning Courses (great addition for LMS system or any safety program). E-Learning courses can be an important part of your safety training solution.  A common misconception is that the LMS system can only be used with e-learning courses, and this is NOT true. LMS can also be used to assign and track many kinds of training, including instructor-led training, safety meetings, on-the-job training, written training materials, and more.

We recommend using e-learning courses as part of a blended learning solution that uses training of several different types e-learning, instructor-led, employee-led, on-the-job training, shadowing/mentoring/following, task-based training, written materials, and more. Doing so allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your training.

8. E-Learning Authoring Tools (custom program). This tool is a software application that makes it easy to create your own e-learning courses.  RCI creates full safety cultures and includes any of your own policies, videos or photos as requested to enhance the overall program.  Furthermore, you also have the option to invest in DVDs or another safety course.  However, these can become outdated and as regulations change, information can become incorrect.  RCI combats this with CSP and other safety professionals on-site, in order to help guide you with any of your safety programs needs.

9. The National Standard for Effective EHS Training – ANSI Z490.1 (strong addition). Ansi Z490.01 includes the following standards:

EHS (Environment/Health/Safety) training can be difficult to create. It’s difficult for one person (or department) to be on top of these regulations and changes.

Having a formulaic method—and a guide that lists best practices—is a great way to increase your EHS training potency.  For more information on ANSI Z490.1, feel free to contact us for assistance.

10. Networking with other Safety/Health/EHS Professionals (great for developing knowledge and creating your custom safety culture). One of the best “tools” you can use is to learn from your professional safety/environmental/health peers. LinkedIn, blogs or other social media outlets are viable methods.  Make sure that your source is valid and knowledgeable about the topic you are researching!

Looking to stay on top of this issue, and ensure that your company has built a safe workplace? Contact RCI today to schedule a webinar, or to have one of our safety professionals come to your job site!

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