Creating and maintaining a nuanced and effective safety program is hard, no matter what. And if you’re a small business struggling to find good help in a pandemic landscape, staying OSHA-compliant can feel like an unscalable mountain.
I’m going to assume that we all already value safety. I’m also going to assume that we’re capable of finding OSHA’s self-inspection checklist online, so we know what’s expected of us.
This blog isn’t about any of that.
From one small business manager to another, I want to share my safety green flags. None of us are perfect, but we should acknowledge our progress, and let it inspire us to keep moving forward.
Management is involved.
If everyone on your leadership team wears safety glasses on the shop floor, you’re doing something right. If the CEO wears a hard hat when touring a site, you’re on your way. If the folks who spend 99% of their time behind a computer know when to don the high-vis vest or the hearing protection, and then do so consistently, you’re doing great. Leading by example is the quickest way to get everyone on board.
The team calls you out.
I started to feel really good about Kaser’s safety program the day one of my employees took me to task for not wearing my safety glasses. I was on the shop floor for maybe ten minutes, and I’d left my glasses in my office. I should’ve been wearing them. If your team is speaking up about violations, it means they’ve taken ownership. You should be proud of that.
Your safety meeting topics are relevant.
If you’ve taken the time to identify the specific dangers facing your team, and you’ve customized your safety meetings to address those dangers, you’re already miles ahead of every business that’s trying to shove generic safety content down an uninterested team’s throat. Keep up the good work.
We may not have the resources we wish we had to devote to our safety programs, but the name of the game is progress. Take safety seriously. Keep making strides, no matter how small, and take the time to celebrate your victories. Every good protocol, every positive outcome, and every person following the rules is contributing positively to your workplace. Keep it up.