New Year’s resolutions aren’t just about getting fit and eating right. They can also provide valuable opportunities to improve safety in the workplace. Every year, more than 2.8 million injuries occur in the workplace. And while that number seems to be on the decline, thanks largely in part to ongoing changes and advancements in safety to mitigate hazards, that’s still 2.8 million too many.

As you’re creating your “New Year, New You” strategy, make sure to include these five top safety tips to make this year the safest on record:

1. Build a Safety Culture

A company’s culture is its beating heart — the set of values, mission, and brand that guides its every decision and allows the company to thrive. It just makes good business sense that health and safety is part of that culture.

When health and safety are ingrained as often and as heavily as the company mission, values, and brand, it becomes much harder for employees to ignore. Rather, they can better prioritize safety in their daily decisions so that health in the workplace becomes second nature, not an afterthought.

2. Prepare and Inspect Safety Gear and Equipment

Now is a good time to inventory all safety-related gear and equipment and test items to ensure they’re functioning properly. Items that are broken or otherwise don’t meet quality standards should be discarded to avoid mixing them in with good equipment. Once those items are disposed of, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to order.

Outside of your existing inventory, you should also consider new equipment to bring into the company that can increase worker safety.  Make it a priority to talk with employees to ensure they have and know how to use the right PPE for their jobs, as well as ask them what else they think could help them do their jobs in a safer manner.  

Some safety equipment requires compliance related inspections, which must be documented.  Examples include fall protection assets, fire extinguishers, and catwalk systems. Conduct an inventory of these types of equipment, and ensure inspections are performed and documented as required.   If any items fail inspection, remove them from service and replace them as needed.  

3. Prioritize Reporting, Especially Near Misses

You already report the big stuff, but are you prioritizing minor accidents and near misses? Though it might not make you look great on paper, proper reporting can give you more insight into how well your EHS program is really performing. You can use this data to make adjustments where they’re most needed and reduce the chance of future injuries or hazards.

4. Promote Ongoing Training and Education

Worker complacency can be hazardous to an otherwise safe work environment. Those who have been with your company for a long time may feel like they don’t need ongoing training to do their job, but this mindset may make them more likely to take risky shortcuts or otherwise neglect proper safety measures.

No one is above training and education, regardless of how well they do their job or their personal safety history. Make sure each employee completes safety training each year to keep information fresh and top of mind.

5. Standardize Your EHS Department

When environmental health and safety departments can function like a well-oiled machine, it’s easier for all workers to understand their role and contribute to safety priorities. It leaves no questions as to how to report issues, who is responsible for issues, or whether issues were resolved.

Tools like iScout are designed to help you turn functions into processes that keep everyone engaged and on the same page. Watch our online demo to see iScout in action and discover a better way to prioritize workplace safety in 2020 and beyond!

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