At ABC Maine, we prioritize workplace safety. We think it’s just as important as company culture, quality of management and leadership, employee skill and ability and overall work environment.
Here are five essential things you and your company can do to ensure workplace safety, starting with a commitment from leadership.
1. Management Support Leads to Employee Buy-In
A company is only as good as the people in charge and how they relate to employees. So, for employees to take workplace safety seriously, the company’s leaders must set the tone.
In addition to the required OSHA posters, we recommend having a policy on safe and healthy working conditions on display in several different places around the office. Having it signed by the boss will give it extra weight. Slogans, email blasts and other outreach are also great tools to reinforce the message.
On top of those efforts, it’s important to hold managers, supervisors and employees accountable for their safety responsibilities. But start at the top: if you hold managers and supervisors accountable for workplace accidents and on-the-job injuries, it will motivate them to take the message of safety to employees.
2. Establishing Procedures for Hazard Prevention and Control
The best way to avoid an accident is never to create a workplace hazard. Another way is to maintain facilities and equipment. Whether it’s your fleet and heavy equipment or hand tools or extension cords, keep them in working order. It’s cheaper than replacing them or paying for a workplace incident.
It’s also important to have on-site first aid. Some OSHA standards require a trained first aid provider depending on the work being performed, but at minimum, you should have at least one person trained in first aid and CPR on every site and on every crew.
Lastly, provide personal protective equipment to employees when engineering controls are feasible. Typically, business owners are required to pay for and provide PPE to employees, and even if you’re not mandated to do so, it’s a smart business decision.
3. Using ABC Maine Toolbox Talks
Employee safety programs should be designed to ensure that all employees understand and are aware of the hazard to which they may be exposed and the proper methods for avoiding such hazards, says OSHA’s website.
As you implement or improve your safety and health training programs, there are four key steps ABC Maine thinks you should take.
- Your employee training program should be designed to ensure all employees understand and are aware of the hazards they may be exposed to at work. But the training must be relevant to the work, related to the tasks being performed and targeted to the right audience.
- Using pictures is a good way to highlight potential hazards to employees.
- Company safety trainings should be timely and frequent, as well—tailgate meetings, town halls, ABC Toolbox Talks and weekly safety briefings are foundational to great safety programs.
- Also, OSHA rules are important, and showing employees the actual written rules and OSHA regulations is a great way to answer an employee who asks questions about trainings or procedures and protocols.
For more information, visit our Toolbox Talks page. Note that you MUST be an ABC Maine member to view these seminars (if you’re not already a member, see Step 5 below!)
4. Enroll in STEP
STEP was founded in 1989 as a safety benchmarking and improvement tool. It’s evolved into a world-class safety management system that dramatically improves safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work. If you want to make safety part of your company’s DNA, enrolling is STEP is a great way to achieve that goal.
For more information on STEP or to enroll, visit abcstep.org or call our workforce development coordinator, Shari Johnston, at 207-560-7573. STEP is exclusive to ABC Members.
5. Become an ABC Maine Member
As a member of our organization, you can access our exclusive safety tools like Toolbox Talks and STEP, as well as things like our political advocacy within the merit shop construction industry, continuing education and apprenticeship programs and all the networking and social events we host throughout the year.
ABC Maine and the national ABC organization are dedicated to protecting your right to open competition, and we champion free enterprise. We strive to help you deliver quality work in a safe and timely manner, and we want you to be successful and be profitable.
For more information on ABC Maine and becoming a member, click here, or call our membership director, Tami Staples, at 207-620-6561.