Any incident that occurs in the workplace is ultimately the employer’s responsibility. You are responsible for providing a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards under state and/or federal regulatory compliance such as the Montana Safety Culture Act (MSCA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and/or the Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA).
Fortunately, there are many ways to help ensure you meet your responsibilities under the law.
But legal compliance may not be enough to keep employees safe. Safety in the workplace requires a culture of vigilance, where everyone pays attention to safety and encourages others to be safe as well. As a business owner, you need to make safety part of your ongoing workplace and operations assessments. For example, by:
- Develop your safety policies and plan.
- Create a safety committee.
- Implement safe work practices.
- Invest in your workers through training.
You can also be supportive by encouraging your employees to perform their tasks safely and by motivating them to participate in safety improvements by:
- Conducting regular hazard assessments.
- Performing workplace inspections.
- Improving work areas through appropriate engineering and administrative controls.
- Providing and maintaining personal protective equipment (PPE) and training on its use.
- Evaluating safety programs periodically.
Workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities are not inevitable. They are not a cost of doing business. By developing a culture of safety you can prevent incidents, reduce work time lost to injury, keep valued employees on the job and productive, and lower costs associated with injuries. In other words, safety isn’t just a business responsibility, it’s a business advantage.
- Increasing interpersonal interactions with employees and discussing safety-related initiatives.
- Ensuring that safe work practices are communicated and understood by employees.
- Giving employees an opportunity to express their safety concerns.
- Implementing policies where safety is an expectation, such as employee performance appraisals.
- Leading by example; such as being visible, positively emphasizing worker contributions and wearing PPE in established work zones.