Health and Safety Challenges for Small to Mid-Size Companies

Posted Dec 20th, 2017 in Tips & News

Health and Safety Challenges for Small to Mid-Size Companies

Overcoming Obstacles to Achieving Safety Compliance

If you are employed at a smaller operation - with limited resources such as little or no staff or little funding for health and safety programs - you have unique challenges.

Smaller companies have unique challenges to achieving safety compliance, mainly in the number of resources available; however, the responsibilities and OHSA requirements to create and maintain a safe environment still remain.

Safety takes two, parallel paths at a company: long-term safety management and daily safety management.

The first path examines safety incidents and injuries. The second path focuses on “How do we manage safe work every day?”

Creating a safe environment is management’s way of saying they care. Creating a harm-free work environment while achieving – or perhaps because of achieving – 100 percent employee involvement and engagement shows management’s commitment.

To maximize limited health and safety resources for first-class results:
  •    Establish health and safety roles and responsibilities.
  •    Include health and safety objectives in employee performance management.
  •    Conduct regular internal health and safety program reviews that promote continuous improvement by determining ways to improve health and safety skills and encourage knowledge development among employees.

“Get organized” for health and safety success. Safety goes beyond a single person or committee. There should be written health and safety roles and responsibilities at every level of the organization, from the senior management to hourly support personnel.

In addition, health and safety performance should be part of the overall performance management goals for each employee. That means including specific health and safety objectives in employees’ annual goals that are tied into any bonuses, just like production or quality goals.

Because of limited resources, it takes the collective workforce to achieve excellent safety performance. It occurs organically by engaging members of the safety committee, safety coordinators and health and safety representatives who manage safety challenges like lockout/tagout, confined space, WHMIS 2015, electrical safety, etc., and who are part of a company’s leadership team. As part of their daily safe work, these people conduct Job Hazard Analyses and risk predictions, work area inspections and worker behavior audits. They don’t just count injuries but look for ways to improve performance.

By involving all leadership and employees in specific health and safety responsibilities, an organization will grow towards a zero-harm culture.


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