The economy is on a rise again and companies are ramping up production. A lot of businesses are running a tight schedule and projects need to be completed as soon as possible. This environment is great for business but not necessarily for the safety perception or safety management. During these times it is crucial the safety officers keep safety as top priority at the workplace. To prevent safety becoming the victim of tight schedules, we have pointed out some topics to take into consideration.
Tightly Planned Project
As a safety officer, it is always good to have a close connection and understanding of the ongoing projects and their status. People are inclined to work as hard as possible to finish a project on time, even at the expensive of their own safety. The tight schedule can put so much pressure on people that they start to make a consensus on safety. Being present at the worksite helps to remind the employees of the importance of safety. You will personally be the trigger for them. Furthermore, it allows you to keep track of the safety culture and correct workers when they take irresponsible risks. Of course you cannot do this on your own, so make sure project managers and site managers are properly trained.
The tight planning reduces time for things like safety training and awareness programs. These techniques are crucial to maintaining a healthy safety culture. Make sure the training time isn’t reduced due to time constraints. Yes, top management will put the customer first, but ensure that it doesn’t happen at the expense of safety. It is crucial for the health of the workers but also the organization that people feel safe and secure while they do their job. Come up with measuring tools that show how important the training is. These can be safety culture perception or more hard figures like number incidents and their costs to handle them.
Enable employees to easily file incidents and unsafe situations. It is crucial employees have the right tools to provide you with the necessary information to plan your actions. This information is a great input for things like:
- Creating training plans.
- Improving certain work instructions.
- Planning specific toolbox meetings.
Due to the strong economic times a lot of companies have budgets available for topics like safety. Safety officers will notice it gets easier to get budget approvals. Make sure you leverage these great times wisely. In order to prove to top management that money was well spent, make sure you have proof. Show that the safety awareness went up, or that major incidents went down, or whatever metric you use. Just make sure you have data to back up the expenses. This will make approvals in the future a lot easier.