A workplace safety program's major goal is to limit workplace deaths and injuries, as well as the negative effects that these occurrences can have on workers, their families, and employers. When it comes to workplace safety, organizations with a strong safety culture that have designed comprehensive safety plans, effectively applied them, and monitored their progress are the winners.
Workplace safety begins with a strong safety culture, which is defined as a set of values and attitudes that employers and employees embrace in regards to workplace risks. Because cultural transformation is difficult and complex, leadership is important. Leaders must support the safety agenda and take the lead in coordinating activities across the organization.
Employee engagement is also necessary for the evolution of a safety culture. Even if managers function as safety role models, without active involvement from all members of the organization, a safety culture will not be sustained, and safety will not attain its true potential.
Plans and Actions
For a thorough and effective safety approach, there are five important areas that must be addressed. They include plans and actions that aid in the smooth operation of the safety engine. We'll look at them in the context of NFPA 70E, which is concerned with the safety of employees who are exposed to electrical dangers as a result of their work with electricity. However, the same methodology can be used for other risks such as combustible dust and others.
1. Electrical Safety Program
The core of a safety program is a company-wide, all-encompassing set of written instructions. According to NFPA 70E, Section 110.1, a written document that specifies action appropriate for the risk associated with electrical hazards is required. Its scope includes, among other things, safety concepts, rules, procedures, controls, hazard awareness, risk assessments, job safety plans/job briefings, audits, incident investigation, and training. The Electrical Safety Program's main goal is to give general safety recommendations. This program must be adequately conveyed to and understood by everyone in the organization in it to be effective.
2. Hazard Assessment
Section 130.2 mandates that electrical equipment operating at voltages more than 50 volts be put into an electrically safe working condition (disconnected from energized elements, locked/tagged, tested for absence of voltage, and grounded if necessary) before a worker works on it. To meet this requirement, organizations must implement an effective Lockout/Tagout program. Electrically safe work methods must be adopted before any worker is exposed to hazards when an electrically safe working environment cannot be established.
3. Hazard Prevention
Preventative actions reduce the possibility of a dangerous incident to occur. Workplace safety risks can be reduced when precautions are taken ahead of time. Preventive maintenance (for example, infrared thermography) to reduce the chance of equipment failure, job safety planning/briefings, and safety audits are just a few examples.
4. Hazard Mitigation
After hazards have been identified, risk mitigation must be executed successfully using the hierarchy of control methods:
- The most effective strategies are elimination, substitution, and engineering controls. When compared to awareness, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment, they are usually administered at the source and are less likely to be influenced by human error.
- During the implementation of protective measures, the potential for human error and its negative implications on people, processes, the work environment, and equipment must be considered.
5. Electrical Safety Training
It is vital to train workers (employees and contractors) who are exposed to hazards, especially when the hazard/risk is not eliminated or lowered to a safe level. Workers must be able to recognize and comprehend the specific hazards that come with their work responsibilities. Electrical safety, lockout/tagout, and emergency response are among the topics covered in NFPA 70E training, which can be done in a classroom setting, on the job, or a mix of both.
A worker is qualified if he or she is trained and aware about the equipment and work approach, can recognize the associated electrical dangers, and is familiar with the right use of the preventive measures, techniques, tools, and PPE required to prevent them.
Only certified individuals should be allowed to operate with electrical dangers that have not been put into a safe operating condition. Unqualified personnel must also be aware of any electrical safety procedures that are required for their workplace safety.
Compliance and Beyond
Organizations can become more safety compliant by effectively addressing these five areas. However, the advantages of a complete safety program will extend beyond compliance to operational excellence. Business continuity, operational performance, and productivity are all aided by safety. Workplaces with safety issues, on the other hand, have poorer employee morale and productivity.
Considering the importance of workplace safety, Safety Assure app can be useful for the organizations to create a safer workplace for the employees without any hassle. Safety Assure app helps the employers through OSHA recordkeeping and avoids massive workplace incidents by regularly tracking workplace injury, recorded by the employees. It's never been easier to comply with safety regulations in order to avoid penalties and decrease operational costs!
Author Bio: SK. Moinur Rahman is a digital marketing analyst at CloudApper. It is a No-Code Enterprise Mobile Apps Platform consisting of OSHA Recordkeeping & Incident Management Software, HIPAA Compliance Management Application, etc. He’s on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to make boring business blogs sparkle.
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