If you’re working as a Safety Manager, then you already know the importance of safety and the huge impact it can have on a business. A single incident involving an injury or damage to property is sometimes enough to close a business. But, the opposite is also true, a great safety record can help a business grow and put your company a step ahead of your competitors. To support you in that role, here are our top tips on how to be an effective Safety Manager.
Develop Your Safety Culture
Safety culture goes beyond the content of your company’s safety training or employee handbook. It is the total experience of safety for every employee. Your safety culture is what keeps the stuff in the handbook top of mind as employees go about their daily duties. The important thing about safety culture is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. It will take some listening and connecting to your employees, as well as developing trust. Being a good listener could make the difference in figuring out what really happened when there is an incident. An empathetic Safety Manager will get more engagement from all the employees simply because they feel safe coming to you with issues. Also, safety culture doesn’t have to be all about what not to do. Don’t forget to reinforce good behavior!
When your employees know that the company has an efficient process for dealing with a new risk or an incident, they are more likely to report these safety issues. At the end of the day, if you don’t have reporting, you don’t truly know what your risks are and you cannot do your job effectively. Many companies have paper processes for reporting or use spreadsheets, all of which lead to a longer processing time to resolve important safety issues. Responding quickly really comes down to having a methodical way of handling incident mitigation, which is best achieved with a digital Safety Management System (SMS). Our SMS allows you to respond quickly to incoming reports, assign the necessary maintenance or tasks to remedy the issue, easily track the progress, schedule regular inspections, make adjustments to safety training and maintenance programs based on the risks identified, and can be configured to your specific incident mitigation needs.
Always Be Evolving
The key to a strong safety culture is to let it grow and evolve through employee feedback and your ongoing risk assessment. Part of your job as a Safety Manager is reactive, but to be most effective, you have to also be proactive. Collecting safety observations and reports, reviewing risks, and regularly reassessing safety will help you identify necessary changes before an incident happens. As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We have helped other clients proactively adjust and improve their safety procedures through the use of reporting tools that make it easier to access safety data and integrate safety procedure changes more quickly. For example, detailed reporting can make the difference between having a repeat incident and not because you’ll have the data to recognize that it’s a new risk.
Use a Safety Management System (SMS)
Between all the OSHA regulations that must be met and the weight of managing the safety of every employee, your job is not an easy one. Using tools that can digitize part of your process and even automate some of your work is one of the biggest ways you can be an effective Safety Manager. If you’ve read this far, we’ve mentioned this a few times, and for good reason. Not only does our SMS help you be an effective Safety Manager, but it is also an integral part of your safety culture. These are just a few of the benefits you’ll experience in putting this tool to work for you:
- Automation of many daily tasks
- Detailed reporting
- Easier information gathering
- Everyone in the organization can have a role and assigned responsibilities
- Flagging incidents for review based on criteria you set
- Reassuring to employees as they know you have a system for handling safety issues
- Drives change by providing detail on the why and the benefits behind the change
- Provides insight into safety and incident trends
- Offers a simple way to do a detailed root cause analysis
Every tip on how to be an effective Safety Manager comes down to your systems and processes for handling the job. The world of technology has reached a point that the software to support you in this position is much more affordable now and can be used by companies large and small. Just as safety culture is not a one-size-fits-all thing, our SMS can be configured to suit your company’s needs.