The Key to Forming an Effective Safety Committee
Manufacturing employees often do work that involves sensitive substances or complicated machinery, so it's no surprise their risk of injury is higher than in other industries. According to the National Safety Council, out of a total of 4.5 million work-related injuries that required medical consultation in 2017, manufacturing employees experienced 550,000. With this rate showing no sign of decreasing, manufacturers need to ensure the safety of their employees. Creating an organization-wide safety committee is the first step.
Safety committees foster a culture of safety and address safety issues in an organization.
While some states require companies of a certain size to have safety committees, all organizations should implement one as best practice.
Unsure where to start?
Here are a few steps to consider when setting up a safety committee:
Define the purpose of the committee. In general, safety committees aim to interest employees in safety issues and educate them on accident prevention. Setting clear goals will prepare employees for what to expect from this group.
Encourage employees to volunteer. By filling the committee with employees who want to be there, you ensure more participation from members. This will make the committee more successful in the long run.
Create a basic curriculum. Provide training on recognizing, avoiding, and preventing workplace safety and health hazards.
Monitor progress. Implement a process to regularly review the safety committee’s progress toward meeting safety goals. This will allow the committee to continue improving.
Look outward. Connect with professionals in other industries, like healthcare and education. Their safety committees can help you to fuel new ideas for yours. You may even be able to share valuable insights that they can bring back to their organizations.
Manufacturing employees face some of the highest risks for injuries and illnesses. As the experienced workforce retires and young employees enter the industry, those risks increase.
By putting employees on the front lines against health and safety risks, a safety committee can build a foundation for your organization's loss prevention program.