Workplace safety is an integral part of any business. Be it in hospitality, healthcare, public service, or warehousing/fulfillment, employees must be kept safe.
“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established in 1971. Since then, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety. Fatality and injury rates have dropped drastically.
Although accurate statistics were not kept at the time, it is estimated that in 1970 around 14,000 workers were killed on the job. That number fell to approximately 4,340 in 2009. At the same time, U.S. employment has almost doubled and now includes over 130 million workers at more than 7.2 million worksites. Since the passage of the OSH Act, the rate of reported serious workplace injuries and illnesses has declined from 11 per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.6 per 100 workers in 2009. OSHA safety and health standards, including those for trenching, machine guarding, asbestos, benzene, lead, and bloodborne pathogens have prevented countless work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. This timeline highlights key milestones in occupational safety and health history since the creation of OSHA.”
Keeping employees safe is paramount to the success of any operations. It goes without saying, but the safer the employees are, the happier they are. The happier they are, the more productive they will become. The more productive they become, the better it is for everyone involved. Employer profits go up when productivity increases and
workers become more secure in their jobs, it is a true trickle-down effect.
Most organizations have safety teams at their locations. Some call them teams, others call them committees, either way, these are groups of individuals guiding their organizations by establishing guidelines, policies, and procedures to ensure that
the employees know and are following the steps necessary to get home safely at the end of the day. These groups are occasionally composed of safety professionals, those whose primary function is workplace safety, and/or regular employees that have volunteered or have been selected to serve on these teams. These volunteers are usually the best candidates to be in these roles since they are the “boots on the ground” that work in these varying environments day and day out. They know not only how things should be done safely, but more than likely what unsafe conditions and practices can be present or worse yet, is being performed at that time.
Rotating these staff members in and out of these safety teams not only give these teams a new perspective from the different viewpoints of the individuals, but also gives these individuals a platform in which they can give their ideas, as well as giving them an insight of where they are in the organization.
At the end of the day, whatever your place is in your organization, be it owner, supervisor, or employee, it is everyone’s responsibility to be safe, work safely, and watch out for your co-workers. We are all in this together.