5-Step Approach to Improving Employee Health & Safety

Workplace injuries continued to increase in Canada in 2020, with more than 201 000 registered WSIB claims and over $2.9 million in benefits distributed to injured workers.

How can we bring those numbers down? Providing PPE is not enough – promoting, demonstrating and rewarding a positive safety culture is essential. Core to an effective health and safety program is the fight against complacency. When insufficient importance is placed on the use of personal protective equipment and following safety protocols, the effects can be tragic.

Building a Safety Culture

Complacency can result in workplace accidents, injuries, and even loss of life, so it’s critical to build a culture of safety that employees – and visitors – can see and feel.

    1. Assess Risk
      Complete a comprehensive site safety audit to identify workplace hazards, assess current protocols against current regulatory requirements and complete a detailed risk assessment. Based on that assessment, determine exactly what safety apparel and equipment is required in each area of your facility.
    2. Create a Standard
      Select appropriate PPE for each area and task, remembering that comfort is a key factor in PPE compliance. When employees are provided will ill-fitting equipment that is uncomfortable or cumbersome, they are less likely wear it, or keep it on throughout their shift. Sourcing high-quality products according to the latest standards and ensuring proper sizing and fit not only increases employees’ willingness to wear their PPE, it also communicates your organization’s commitment to workplace safety. Employee perception and understanding of that commitment is essential to building a safety culture.
    3. Invest in Training
      Training should be an ongoing activity. A combination of in-person and online training works well to ensure all employees have access to training regardless of their work schedule. Require employees to training and retrain at specific intervals and engage them in the process. Make training a shared undertaking,  set goals for incident reduction and support with team rewards.
    4. Create Shared Mindset
      Extend rigorous health and safety standards to everyone in the company, whether they are “just visiting” from other departments, senior managers or executives touring facilities, or visitors to company sites. That consistency is a critical building block that promotes a safety mindset throughout the organization.
    5. Ask For Feedback
      Employees are more engaged when they feel their voice is valued. Ask for feedback, opinions and concerns end encourage open discussion in team meetings. Reward employees who report hazards and follow through on concrete actions to address safety issues and concerns.

Need help with your Site Safety Audit? Ask Bunzl Safety’s workplace health and safety experts to assist. They’ll complete a comprehensive facility assessment, share the latest relevant safety legislation, suggest new product innovations and recommend ways to reduce workplace and health and safety costs while improving safety and productivity.

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