Taking Safety Seriously Can Save Serious Dollars

If your team is racking up safety violations, chances are they’re also racking up preventable claims that can affect your bottom line. Saving employees from injury, and premium dollars besides, may be as easy as dusting off your safety policy and making regular safety reviews a regular part of your work schedule. 

According to a recent study by Howard Mavity, a labor lawyer and partner at Fisher & Phillips, employers oftentimes did not learn about unsafe behavior until a post-injury investigation – and more than half (56 percent) of the employers in the study were unsatisfied with the disciplinary policy in place for employees performing unsafe acts. 

Some key ways you can establish safety as a primary directive in work rules include:

  • Establish work rules that are compliant with OSHA protocols: This not only aligns your safety rules with the regulatory agency in charge of monitoring them, but provides a good framework of best practices to make sure your shop and your team are operating as safely as possible.
  • Communicate work rules to employees: Dusting off the safety manual once a year likely won’t communicate that your serious about safety to your employees. Set aside time every month to talk about your shop’s safety policies and to get input from your team on what’s happening on the shop floor. They’ll understand that you’re serious about safety and will feel more involved and valued when asked to give their input.
  • Document your safety rules: Regular training and documentation of safety rules and policies gets everybody on the same page, but also removes the potential for the “I didn’t know” excuse should an injury occur. Providing a record of training and policies also can help elevate safety rules and requirements as a core part of everyday work rules.
  • Take appropriate steps to discover workplace violations: Whether you perform a structured safety audit or simply walk the shop several times a week, understanding whether work habits have crossed the line into unsafe territory is the first step to bringing them in line with your store policy, and preventing potentially expensive claims from happening in the first place.
  • Enforce safety rules when they are discovered: Safety is no joke, and neither is violating workplace rules. Enforcing them and providing appropriate disciplinary action when required sends the message to your team that safety is serious business and makes it more likely that they will stick to store policies.