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Did you know that—according to the bureau of labor statistics—there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries only 2 years ago? Unfortunately, a workplace accident has become commonplace in modern Corporate America.
But that doesn’t have to be your story. Do you know what a vast majority of those injured employees likely didn’t have? A structured and well-defined accident prevention plan. In these scenarios, it’s better to be proactive than reactive.
Adding an accident prevention plan to your business operations will help you cut the likelihood of any workplace-related injuries. See below for a few pointers on how to build an effective one for your company.
1. Teach Your Senior Management First
When you think about the influential aspect of your accident prevention plan, it’s best to think of it as a snowball effect. In the snowball effect, the idea is that a tiny snowball starts at the top of a mountain and gains size and momentum as it rolls down the sloped terrain.
To put that into perspective: you want your effective accident prevention plan to be put into place at the top of your business model, then gain momentum as it makes its way down.
Simply put, if your senior management isn’t actively putting your plan to use, your mid-level and entry-level workers won’t either. They need influence from the top. They need the importance of safe work habits to be stressed to them time and time again.
This can also be a great way to brainstorm your plan. What are your senior managers’ top concerns for the workforce? What unsafe accidents are they most afraid of? Do they have suggestions for how to fix it?
Once you have a firm grasp on what needs to be addressed, you can put a detailed accident prevention plan in place. Only then can you teach it to your senior managers and hold them accountable for sticking to it.
2. Focus on the Habits of Your Employees
Did you know that your employee’s safety has a direct connection to their work habits? In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg outlines three key steps to any habit loop: the cue, the routine, and the reward.
These steps have to follow that exact cadence to stick. The more that they perform them, the more solidified those habits become in their head. So if a worker has a habit that cuts corners on their safety to get the job done faster, then gets praised for it by their superior, an unsafe habit will form quickly.
To ensure that your accident prevention plan sticks, you need to focus on altering their habit loops. How? By implementing a cue (the starting point that triggers the habit), teaching them a safe routine, and rewarding them for their safe business practices.
In other words, your accident prevention plan shouldn’t just focus on listing out rules. It should focus on rewarding safe work habits, which are helping you minimize the risk of a workplace injury.
3. Assign a Risk Management Coordinator
Think about each member of your staff for a minute. Who would you say is the most diligent and by-the-rules worker you have? They don’t necessarily need to be a senior-level manager.
Whoever that person is, make them the risk management coordinator for your accident prevention plan. Doing so will guarantee your APP’s efficiency and functionality.
While each company is different, this position generally focuses on helping you implement the accident prevention program that you put into place. Think of them as your eyes and ears on the ground level.
You must also trust them enough to identify other potential risks in your business operations and install new rules and guidelines as they come up.
The idea of your APP isn’t to have a final draft before you present it to your staff. Accident prevention plans grow over time. Some guidelines get added, others get thrown out. Having a risk management coordinator is a big step towards that.
4. Prioritize Communication
Having efficient communication for your company’s accident prevention plan is important for a few reasons:
- It ensures that you’re kept in the loop on any workplace injuries that occur.
- It allows you to report the accident to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which is legally required.
- You’ll be kept up to date on the proceedings of those injuries. For example, if your worker files a claim for workers’ compensation, then hires the best workers comp lawyer in town.
Make sure that your senior management is keeping in constant communication with your lower-level management about safety communication. That means weekly meetings, training sessions, and so on.
5. Make Training a Focal Point
From the day you establish an accident prevention plan, each new hire should know the APP by heart before they step foot on your work floor.
Too many companies push off training sessions for their APP due to fear of cutting into business hours. However, in doing so, they actually put themselves at more financial risk by upping the chances of a workplace accident.
Be sure your training informs your staff of how to treat their injuries when to report the accident and injuries, as well as how to properly implement your APP procedures.
Build an Accident Prevention Plan for Your Company Today
Now that you have seen the steps to an effective accident prevention plan, be sure to use it to build safety and accountability amongst your staff.
Take the time to plan your APP with your senior management. The focal point should always be to stress your plan to your employees early and often. There’s no such thing as overcommunication when it comes to workplace safety.
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on accident prevention, as well as many other helpful topics that you’ll enjoy.