Mitigating safety hazards in the workplace has always been a prime concern of top Leaders in every organisation. HR and the Safety department collaboratively play a predominant role in this area which requires constant vigilance. Not every workplace safety improvement will have an obvious business benefit at first but an effective health and safety policy has a direct impact on any company’s brand and reputation. It can safeguard an organisation from the cost of lost time, litigation, fines and human capital. Apart from having a good policy, effective implementation and constant reinforcement is the key. Revolutionising and instilling the practices to the core is imperative.
Through a combination of approaches and using the right method for the right audience, HR and HSE managers can really make sure that the messages hit home. By consistent adherence, the statistics of injury and fatality is bound to reduce. Listed below are some of the new trends in this area which are being followed in 2017 by some progressive organisations.
1. Improved Safety Technology
The year 2017 will see an increase in technology with greater dexterity. Internet of Things (IoT) has become more affordable enabling organisations to adopt technologies such as smartwatches, wearables and Gensuite applications. Employees and workers can do everything from conducting audits to reporting incidents and more on their mobile phones or tablets. Making way for mobile in Employee Safety compliance and management by linking it to performance with analytics helps in proactively addressing risks and planning a preventative action. Especially, people who work in isolated places can leverage such technology. Organisations are using Software and Mobile-Centric Solutions to improve employee experience with EHS management systems and processes.
2. Use of Big Data in Finding the Root Cause
Companies produce many safety reports, but linking the historic data in real time to find out the likelihood of safety incidents is a tedious task. They have a difficult time trying to tie report data to the likelihood of safety incidents. For prevention solutions to be effective, companies need to ensure these solutions are based on a complete look at the factors in the workplace which are the root of the incidents.
By using analytics and related tools companies will be able to gather the right information. Developing such personalised safety trend reports followed by building better training programs definitely will decrease company’s injury rates.
3. Improving employee safety experience
Today’s workplace is incessantly changing to meet evolving demands from markets, technologies and new generations of workers. Personalised user experience is the new norm. In this dynamic time, EHS managers should focus on how they can adapt their programs to perform efficiently in the face of constant change. This generation would opt for cloud-based software applications across functions in EHS because every user experience counts. Design thinking will be applied while creating training modules on fire safety, chemical safety, laboratory safety, facility and equipment safety and other employee safety training programs. Some of the good practices happening around in this field are:
- Recognise and designate safety leaders who have shown exceptional safety practices.
- Encourage employees to participate in worksite inspections.
- Conduct employee surveys and interviews that allow employees to speak freely about their safety experiences.
- Ask for employee feedback on ways in which they would like to be engaged in safety drills.
4. Safety starts at the Top
More top management involvement will be seen in the coming year. The upper-level executives within larger companies have started playing an active role in determining how to prevent accidents and improve workplace safety. In earlier times, employees were not even aware of the safety in charge, but recent trends have brought the top management to be part of safety committees forming a direct link with any level of employee. In order to contribute to organisational safety and demonstrate the appropriate commitment to employee safety, the top leaders are adopting various methods, some of which are:
- Holding themselves to the same safety standards as their employees.
- Allocating safety budgets and ensuring that regulations are persistently and fairly enforced.
- Holding regular meetings with the safety department in which safety reporting and ideas for improvement are discussed.
- Frequently observe and interact with employees to learn of any gaps in safety.
5. Embedding Safety in Organization’s Culture
Workplace safety cannot exist on best practice guidelines and policies alone. A culture of safety needs to be ruthlessly embedded to the crux of every employee. Managers will be allotted appropriate duties to bring in the culture where safety is given priority. There has been a surge in Safety Meetings becoming mandatory to employees to attend to. New safety issues are being discovered, addressed and reviewed instantaneously. This increase not only helps to solve issues quickly but also ensures employees remain up-to-date on new safety protocols thereby reducing the rate of workplace injury. Safety is a communal responsibility that should be considered and addressed by employers and employees alike.
Establishing a better safety culture and seeking out the best safety measure has been added in the category of critical tasks of HR, HSE and Leaders in an organisation. Governments and labour organisations continue to take the issue of workstation safety more seriously and will expect employers to place more prioritisation on the welfare of their employees. Promoting better safety practices among employees by the use of technology, better user experience and full involvement of key stakeholders is key to minimising accidents. The end result would definitely mean happy employees, improved efficiency and greater profitability for the company.