“Those hydraulics wont fail, Will they?”
Make Heavy Machinery Safety a Priority
Getting your workforce to operate machines safely and effectively requires a commitment from the top. Start by setting clear safety expectations.Then, work to provide the resources, motivation, and accountability you’ll need to ensure ongoing participation.
Implement a safety policy
Develop, distribute and enforce guidelines and policies that support your commitment to heavy machinery safety. Ask new employees to sign off on safety rules. Then, revisit those rules frequently to ensure they remain top-of-mind with your workforce. Download the following rules to use with your employees or as a guide in developing your own set of safety rules.
Get managers and supervisors on board
When managers and supervisors elevate safety to a company value it becomes contagious. Here are some of the things your management team can do to make safety a natural and effective part of your company culture:
- Provide sufficient staffing, funds, time and equipment so employees can work safely and efficiently.
- Demonstrate safe attitudes and lead by example.
- Strive to involve every employee with safety.
- Hold every employee accountable for safety and evaluate performance accordingly.
- Comply with all governmental agencies, insurance carriers and internal procedures.
- Ensure industry best practices are applied.
- Observe work activities to detect and correct unsafe actions.
- Brief employees on new hazards before they start work.
- Assist Human Resources in reviewing employment applications, post-offer employment physical reports and personnel files to determine physical qualifications for specified job classifications.
- Make transitional duty options available for injured employees.
- Consistently enforce safety rules and regulations, programs and protective measures.
- Work with the safety coordinator, safety committee and employees to implement new and maintain ongoing safety programs and comply with recommendations from outside consultants, OSHA inspectors and insurance companies.
- Acknowledge employees who work safely and set a good example for others.
- Review safety policies annually.
Turn employees into safety champions
Your employees have a vested interest in making the environments they work in safe and healthy. By involving them in your safety efforts, you’ll gain first-hand insight into potential hazards and problem resolution. What’s more, you’ll gain champions more willing to support and promote wellness and safety initiatives. Here are some tips to help get your workforce behind your safety program:
- Encourage employees to take an active role in safety by joining committees, coordinating safety activities, or other responsibilities.
- Provide a method for bottom-up communication to management.
- Provide quality training that is real, and applicable to the specific needs of the employees.
- Communicate expectations clearly.
- Require employees to sign off and acknowledge safety rules, policies and guidelines. Employees will be safe if their supervisors and managers model safe behavior.
- Maintain equipment well, and respond to maintenance requests by employees.
- Perform surprise and scheduled inspections.
- Investigate incidents and make positive changes.
- Develop a fraud-resistant incentive plan.
- Thank employees for a job well done.