So you’ve implemented a new safety program at your organization. You’ve performed an assessment, set up training schedules, selected courses, purchased personal protective equipment, and established a reporting system. You know that you need a safety program to protect your employees, because your employees are important to you, and to your business. How do you know that your safety program is effective at promoting safe practices in your workplace?
There are several variables that contribute to the success of a safety program, and monitoring these measurables is the best way to determine the effectiveness of the program. Compare your organizational performance since the implementation of your new program to performance during your previous program to determine if safety awareness and safe practices have increased and improved.
- Safety Culture Surveys
What are your employees’ attitudes toward safety and toward the safety culture of your company? Do they feel that they, the company, and their coworkers care about and work to ensure a safe work environment ? Creating a strong safety culture in which employees actively participate is important to promote safe practices.
- Near Miss Reporting/Risk Reduction
Have near misses decreased? If not, is this because of an increase in near misses or an increase in reporting? A reduction in near misses can indicate a healthy safety program, and even an increase in near misses can be a positive, if it is due to increased reporting, indicating that employees are actively participating in the program and taking near miss events seriously.
Are risks being identified and mitigated to protect your employees? Are employees also identifying risks and bringing them to management, so that they can be addressed? If employees at all levels are involved in reporting risks, this is an indication that they are invested in safety.
- Training Completion Rate
What percentage of your employees complete their assigned training? If employees are not completing assigned training, they are more likely to be unaware of hazards and safe work practices.
- Comprehension Test Scores
What percentage of your employees pass training comprehension tests? How many attempts, on average, do employees need to pass comprehension tests? Employees who are not passing comprehension tests are also more likely to be unaware of risks and hazards in the workplace.
- Incident Rates
Have incidents and injuries decreased? Are you meeting or surpassing your goal for this metric? Safe working practices should reduce the number of safety incidents that occur within your company.
- Workers’ Compensation Claims
Have the number of workers’ compensation claims made against your organization decreased? Are you meeting or surpassing your goal number of claims? Claims are an indication of injuries and potentially unsafe practices or uncontrolled hazards in the workplace.
If since implementing your new safety program your safety culture has improved, near miss reporting has improved, training completion and comprehension has increased, and incidents and workers’ comp claims have decreased, your safety program is effective. If that’s not the case, or if your company is not meeting its goals in any of those areas, your safety program may need reworking. Safety culture surveys are a great tool to see where engagement and communication could be improved in your program, and will allow you to make adjustments. If your survey indicates that employees aren’t actively engaging with safety training, you can conduct exercises that demonstrate why safety is important to them, as individuals, which can drive motivation. You can also get supervisors to engage with employees in conversations around safety, building open communication channels for near miss reporting or seeking help when an employee is struggling to complete or pass training, before it ever becomes an issue.
The most important component of ensuring that your safety program is effective is constant evaluation and improvement. Track the metrics above and evaluate them on a regular basis; your organization’s safety needs will change with changes in equipment, processes, legislation, and personnel, and your program will need to be able to adapt to these changes. Of course, talking about safety every day and embedding it into your company culture is vital to implementing a safety program that works. A constantly improving, effective safety program is the best way to ensure that your most important asset, your employees, are protected.
eSafety has the tools to increase the effectiveness of your training program; give us a call to explore our training options.