In my last blog I wrote about the key requirements for an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). Once the plan is developed, many employers form a safety committee to help implement the program. This fosters more employee participation, broader communication channels and thereby the foundation for an organizational culture of safety. Here are some tips for successfully implementing your team and program.
- Be sure team members have a health and safety mindset. Whether you ask for volunteers or assign someone from each department, be sure they represent your health and safety vision. Encourage the team to develop creative ideas for involving all employees in the focus on health and safety. Some examples are a health/safety suggestion box, safety awards, or a safety poster contest.
- Walk the talk. Ensure that the entire leadership team consistently demonstrates the safety best practices outlined in the IIPP and participates in the communication and education elements of the plan.
- Communicate consistently. Hold safety committee meetings at least quarterly. Hold general employee safety meetings semi-annually or annually. More frequently if you are in a high safety risk business, such as construction. Use posters, newsletters, emails and department meetings to reinforce your commitment to safety and drive the safety culture.
- Reward safe behavior. Establish a safety awards program whereby individuals or teams who have made suggestions for improving safety or have a clean safety record for a specified period of time are recognized.
- Review and reinforce your safety plan regularly. Be sure that it always reflects the current needs of the organization.
Once your IIPP has been created and your committee is in place, hold an employee meeting with your entire company. Make sure they are aware of the safety plan. Introduce committee members so employees know who to contact when reporting a workplace injury or other issues.
For more information on safety and injury prevention visit your local OSHA website. In California, you can visit: http://www.dir.ca.gov/default.html.