As the new year begins, many people will make personal resolutions pertaining to their safety and well-being. Are you making similar resolutions for your business? The start of the new year is a good time to refocus priorities on the safety of the company and employees. With the focus on Safety First, the initial step in making new resolutions or safety goals should be to review the safety plan from the previous year. If you don’t have a safety plan, this would be a good time to develop and write one.

Discussion Points:
• Review the safety plan from the previous year
• Results from accident and near-miss reports can expose areas for improvement
• Perform a safety assessment
• Encourage employee participation and praise for safe behavior
• Discuss and develop a safety plan and safety goals for the new year

A workplace safety plan is important to avoid potential injury to employees. The results from accident and near-miss reports from the previous year can expose areas for improvement. A safety assessment can provide additional details on the potential hazards and risks present in the workplace. A standard planning objective for the new year should be to reduce the number of incidents and to improve the company’s safety culture. Questions to ask when performing a safety assessment include: Are the safety inspections current? Have the fire extinguishers been inspected, maintained, and fully charged? Is the first aid kit fully stocked and available for all employees to access? Are employees using appropriate PPE? Does any of the PPE need to be replaced? Are work areas clean and organized? Are safety-related documents current and posted for all employees to view? Are all employees familiar with the company’s safety program, current on all training, and do they have a copy of the company safety manual?

In addition to having a sound workplace safety plan, it is important to encourage employees to participate in maintaining a safe work environment, and report all hazards and near-miss incidents. It is also important to recognize and praise employees for safe behavior. Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Having a sound workplace safety plan and safety goals for the new year puts your facility a step closer to ensuring a safe workplace.

As always, stay safe out there!