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Workplace self-assessments

Assessments help diminish workplace hazards

In business, you face daily operational expenses that need to be kept in line. Workplace accidents that cause injury or property damage can quickly impact your profit margin. These costs affect all businesses—large and small.

If you control workplace hazards and adopt effective accident reduction programs, you’ll have a competitive advantage by helping keep your injury costs under control. But to do that, you’ll need to know how well your safety and health program is working and what areas need more attention. It’s also good to know whether the controls you already have in place are working.

Whether you use a comprehensive safety program or an informal approach, by identifying problems and addressing them you’ll help reduce your exposure to loss. We suggest a safety audit to:

  • Provide a clear picture of your program’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Enable you to compare program intent against what is actually being done
  • Allow adjustments where needed
  • Provide a benchmark for you to measure future progress

Measuring up

To see if your safety program needs improvement, take an informal look around for some telltale signs. Check if your employees:

  • Circumvent safety devices
  • Lack appropriate training
  • Use poorly maintained equipment or worksites
  • Lack understanding of your emergency evacuation procedures
  • Follow poor examples
  • Fail to understand safe work performance expectations
  • Fail to use appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Demonstrate unsafe work practices

If you discovered any of these happening, your program may need a closer look. In addition to employee conduct, determine if your managers and supervisors:

  • Understand your safety goals and objectives
  • Are held accountable for safety activities and results
  • Communicate the goals and objectives of the program to employees
  • Value safety as much as production and quality
  • Conduct effective accident investigations and target corrective measures
  • Demonstrate good examples of safe work performance
  • Provide adequate resources and leadership to make safety improvements

If the answer was no to any of these topics, consider a more formalized safety audit to pinpoint the changes needed.

Performing a self-audit

Take some time to analyze each element of your safety program for deficiencies. Also take a look at those that already perform well.

Remember, these are only a few of the major areas that can have a dramatic effect on the costs of workplace accidents and your company’s profitability. Using a structured safety audit guide will help you find areas to focus on in the future.

Developing a course of action

After completing your audit, you’ll need to develop your priorities. That includes:

  • Readjusting your safety program strategy
  • Identifying what needs to be done first and how it’ll improve your accident rates
  • Providing the necessary resources and personnel to carry out the new objectives
  • Communicating and implementing the changes by developing appropriate training plans
  • Continuing to measure your company’s progress to make sure the changes are effective

Since the primary objective of a safety program self-audit is to find problems and develop long-term plans, you’ll need to use an objective fact-finding approach. Look for additional program elements that play a significant role in the safety of your operations.

The process of reflecting on how well your efforts pay off isn’t an easy task, but there are many benefits. A safety audit will help you refocus your resources to achieve the best results and your ultimate objective—helping prevent workplace accidents and injuries and possibly reducing their costs. Talk with a Sentry Safety professional to learn more about this or any other safety concerns you might have.

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