Monday, March 25, 2013

Your Company Needs a Plan


In 2011, the United States’ private manufacturing sector reported half a million injuries and illnesses that were job related. Work related injuries are not always as sudden as getting your hand caught in a machine, but can be caused by small repetitive injuries that go unnoticed for years. Loud noises or repetitive heavy lifting are commonly overlooked in the workplace. An employee may not notice a slight hearing loss or a stiff back after two years, but after 15 years this micro-trauma will take its toll on the body. These long term injuries will end up costing companies millions of dollars in lost productivity and lawsuits. 

Nearly 99% of companies have a safety plan for their employees. The problem is that this plan is being poorly implemented. Depending on the business, these can range from word of mouth instructions to a 500 page operational manual. Understandably, word of mouth instructions can be easily forgotten, and most will not take the time to read a 500 page technical book. Today, on Make-It-Safe Monday, we are going to focus on putting together a safety plan that is easy and effective.

Regular Assessment: Every time a new machine is brought into the workplace, there should be adequate training for all employees that will come use it. A schedule should be created to check old equipment and confirm that it is up to date.

Structure: A safety team should be put together consisting of employees from each department within the business. This brings fresh and new ideas from people who don’t work with the equipment on a daily basis. 

Simplicity: The safety guidelines should be presented in a way that is very straight forward and concise. Signs and labels on each machine stating its’ proper use is a great regular reminder. Certain businesses may be able to take advantage of a check list for lengthy or repetitive procedures. Keep safety manuals short if possible, two to three pages at most.

Administration: Implementation and persistence should be stressed from upper management on down. It should be emphasized on a regular basis that managers are the leaders and all safety procedures need to be enforced.

Due to recent economic downturns, many programs and jobs dedicated to safety have been reduced or cut all together. It is in the best interest of your company and most importantly your employees that you have the right tools in place to create a safe working environment. 

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let's make it safe this Monday.

Brad Lindemann
Sales Coordinator, Lift'n Buddy, A Southworth Company.