Complete Guide to Safety Management & Safety Principles in the Workplace
Unfortunately, not all businesses realize that while they may put safety management protocols into place, at least 68% of employees don’t completely adhere to the safety rules implemented in their workplace. Also, around 58% of employees are completely unaware of the safety protocols their job has in place.
The point of having health and safety rules is to prevent injury and death in places of work. It’s a way to form a structured approach to more safety risk control. These sets of policies and procedures don’t only minimize the risk of injury and other adverse events.
They also protect the company and the consumers that the company serves. In any workplace, it’s important to follow safety principles to help avoid accidents and injuries. But what exactly are these safety principles, and why are they so important?
Keep reading as we explain the most common safety protocols in different workplace settings, how to follow them, and why you should.
Taking Note of the Elements That Make Up a Safety Management System
There are 12 general elements that make up safety management systems. There are also a few specific components that act as the actual framework of the system. The components that you should be aware of are:
- Risk management
- Safety assurance and promotion
- Hazard identification
- Performance measurement and occurrence reporting
A good safety management system is versatile. It should allow you to track injuries and reported incidents and be data-driven. While 80% to 95% of incidents are caused by bad behavior, it’s still the company’s responsibility to put safety practices into place for workers.
One of the most important things for businesses to consider is the elements that make up an effective workplace safety platform. Those elements are:
- Policy and objectives
- Risk assessment
- Hazard identification and control
- Safe work practices and procedures
- Training and Education
- Communication and consultation
- Supervision and accountability
- Monitoring and review
- Incident investigation
- Record keeping
- Emergency Preparedness
- Evaluation and improvement
These elements help business operation teams to keep accountability in mind. It also helps with forming a standardized approach to ensure safety better. In 2021 alone, around 2.2 million injury cases were filed against different companies.
This represents a 6.3% increase in reported cases like this. Combining these elements in your safety protocol design will mitigate this risk.
Management: Why Is It Needed?
Every year, out of every 100 workers in the U.S., at least 2.8 of those workers are hurt while at work. That means that on an annual basis, 2.8 million people experience nonfatal injuries while on the job.
These injuries may be nonfatal. However, this doesn’t consider the potential loss in quality of life or in compensation. It also doesn’t include the ability to continue their job.
While not all injuries are this extensive, injuries vary based on various factors. Regardless of the cause, health and safety protocols are vital to have in place. This also includes the awareness of different types of hazards, which is just as essential.
An effective safety management system will help to identify potential hazards in the workplace. It will also put procedures in place to control or eliminate those hazards.
Once a safety management system is active, it is essential to monitor it regularly to ensure that it’s effective and up-to-date. The system should be reviewed periodically and updated as necessary. This reflects changes in the workplace or new information about potential hazards.
The best way to approach this is to work with professionals specializing in environmental, health, and safety issues. This will help minimize the chance of non-compliance with safety regulations. It will also help with the proper establishment of protocols for different types of occupational safety concerns.
Types of Occupational Hazards to Be Aware Of
Different types of occupational hazards can pose a risk to workers in any industry. Some of the most common include:
Physical harm to workers could be related to heights, electricity, noise, and even the effects of confined spaces. Things like slips, trips and falls, manual handling injuries, and exposure to harmful substances should all be considered when forming safety practices.
Psychological hazards often go overlooked in workplace safety. This is surprising since almost three in every five employees stress from work-related duties. These hazards could be organizational commitment, satisfaction with assigned duties, and fair scheduling practices.
These are hazards that can cause biological harm to workers. This could mean exposure to bacteria and viruses. Other examples could be spores, toxins from biological sources, or bioactive substances. Healthcare, some industrial operations, and agricultural-based businesses often have the most significant risk for biohazard exposure.
Chemical hazards that you might come across in different workplaces could be corrosives. It could also include flammable or reactive substances or general irritants.
Long-term chemical exposure and ingestion increase risk. Direct contact with hazardous chemicals also increases exposure rates.
There are three primary forms of electrical hazards. They would be electrical burns, shock, and arc blasts. Additionally, you must consider the risk of electrical burns, fires, or explosions, depending on your work.
The Principles That Makeup and Optimize Workplace Health and Safety
The workplace safety principles that help to enhance workplace health will combine a few things. That will often be the establishment of a clear and concise safety policy and the ability to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment in the initial phases of operations. Another part of it is identifying potential hazards and controlling them and then preventing them.
To do this, there are a few key principles to be aware of such as having:
- Written workplace safety protocols
- Involvement and participation of employees
- Consistent monitoring and investigations of potential hazards
These principles help to mitigate potential risks associated with common and complex occupational hazards.
Safety Services That Match Your Operations
Safety management systems are used as a safeguard for everything you do. Companies can experience a decreased employee retention rate, potential loss in profit, and unexpected downtimes when adverse safety incidents occur. Atlantic Environmental Incorporate was designed to solve EH&S problems of all complexities.
Get in touch with our Atlantic Environmental team today to ensure your business complies with operational regulations.
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