Focus on the Forum: Workplace Safety from Arbill’s Julie Copeland

If protecting workers and building a culture of safety isn’t important to your business, it should be.

From a business standpoint, investing in proper equipment isn’t just a nice thing to do. It’s a bottom line smart thing to do. As CEO of Arbill, I know that investing in the proper equipment and right training equates to fewer workplace injuries, less down time, stronger working relationships, higher production, and happier workers.

I’ve written before about the benefits of building a safety culture on the Arbill blog, and we hear many examples from customers who have shared stories of their employees discussing safety, reporting near misses, and asking leadership to help them understand the proper procedures that minimize risk of injury.

As a company dedicated to assessing worker safety and protecting workers, we see many examples of safety being communicated and celebrated in the workplace. We also see quite a few well-meaning operations that don’t do as well in keeping their workers protected. If safety is not shared or communicated, if it is not part of the daily routine, it is an after-thought. These types of organizations may say they value their employees, but only to a point. Workers can sense when there is genuine concern for their well-being—and when an employer simply goes through the motions.

In a culture of safety, workers are empowered to take action. They are responsible for safety and the safety of their coworkers. They know that their leaders understand the value of safety and are visibly committed to changing the environment for the better. These workers own it. They continually demonstrate their commitment to safety, and provide resources to achieve positive results.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reported that developing strong safety cultures has the single greatest impact on accident reduction of any process. OSHA believes that developing these cultures should be top priority for all managers and supervisors.

Download the OSHA fact sheet on safety culture

It’s important to have systems in place to learn from mistakes. Safety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist within the organization. Culture is the atmosphere created by shared beliefs, practices and attitudes that make up the behavior of the workers. A culture of safety includes:

  • Leadership invested in safety
  • Established and accepted safety procedures and policies
  • Positive attitudes towards safety
  • Responsibilities and accountability
  • Systems in place to correct safety issues
  • Ongoing safety training
  • Employees invested in safety

Organizations that truly excel in these areas experience an overwhelming feeling that safety is critical. Every worker feels responsible for not only being safe but making sure those around them are safe. It’s an atmosphere where safety awareness is celebrated with rewards to those who go above and beyond.

Where there is a strong safety culture you will find reduced accident rates, low turn-over, low absenteeism, and high productivity. These organizations understand the value of safety and they help their employees work at the highest levels by helping them feel safe and supported. They develop safety recognition programs, create safety committees, and safety incentive programs.

At Arbill, our employees are passionate about safety. It’s that heightened level of interest and action that defines our own mission. We continually measure safety performance, share results, and celebrate milestones. Whether information is shared in a weekly e-mail, presented in a group setting or highlighted in a company newsletter, it has become a natural part of our internal process. This behavior has resulted in a progression to help our customers improve their own processes and results. It did not happen overnight, but within our company, safety has come full circle. It’s in our DNA.

Arbill is skilled at helping you build a culture of safety in your organization. To learn more how you can protect your workers and provide training opportunities that work for you and your leadership, contact us or visit our website.

Have a safe day!

This guest blog post is written by WBE Julie Copeland.

 

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Posted on March 1, 2016 .