Employers should always maintain the goal of making the workplace a safer environment, as free from hazards and infractions as possible. There are several measures that may be taken to attempt to achieve this goal, including forming a safety committee. A safety committee is typically a group of employees, and is a good way to get employees involved in the safety process. These committees may review audits, infractions, and injuries, as well as take suggestions from other employees as to how to make the workplace safer. Forming a random group of employees with no sense of direction, however, may not actually benefit you in the end. There are some ways to make your safety committee more effective in order to obtain and maintain a safer work place.
Providing your committee with a clear and precise direction and sense of purpose is important. Make sure they understand why the committee exists and what they are trying to achieve. Ensure that your committee understands why they are trying to achieve these goals, and how they are to achieve them, i.e. what tools they have at their disposal. To this end, providing clear and achievable goals is a must. These goals should be specifically defined and, where possible, have an end date. For example, providing a job safety analysis to be completed by the end of the year.
Defining each member’s role will also help your committee. Providing titles such as “facilitator” and “leader” will let each member know his or her role and prevent overlap and redundancy, as well as infighting over responsibility.
Holding the group accountable in some way will help to continue to motivate them toward their common goal. Providing a clear picture on how they will be held accountable for substandard performance or rewarded for special achievements should be done before the committee is formed. Similarly, the group needs to have authority to actually achieve its goals. Holding a group accountable for failure to meet its benchmarks is useless if the group is not actually provided with the resources and authority required to meet them.
If you have questions about how to make your workplace safer and safety committees, contact me today at (714) 516-8188. We can talk about protecting your employees from injury, and your business from future litigation.