Safety managers must balance deliverables while managing risks and engaging with stakeholders. With the right strategies and tools, it’s possible to maximize workplace safety.
Ensuring effective safety program management can be complex for supervisors, safety officers, and field managers. Implementation not only means overseeing multiple projects to increase overall safety but also means regularly updating them.
Additionally, multiple deliverables still need to be completed across deadlines that can be unknown or fluid.
Safety program managers must balance these deliverables while managing risks and engaging with stakeholders. They play a crucial role in meeting their teams' challenges, especially workplace safety.
What are the Biggest Challenges in Occupational Health and Safety?
Many industries, like construction, mining, and utility work, have different safety hazards. The same also goes for industries that deal with hazardous chemicals or equipment.
As a result, safety officers and managers often have to file paperwork and ensure to follow safety protocols. Some of the biggest hurdles to occupational health and safety include the following:
Lack of Safety Training
Effective safety program management includes implementing safety training courses for employees to follow. Operators and workers should be familiar with and actively follow proper procedures to prevent injuries or accidents.
Lack of Workplace Awareness
Workers can lose awareness when surrounded by distractions, which can be dangerous in high-paced environments. This is especially true when employees regularly handle hazardous goods or even heavy equipment.
Preventing fatigue and dehydration from overwork is easily overlooked but is essential in improving occupational safety. Implementing VA time-tracking software can help ensure that employees don't stay longer than necessary.
Consistent management support is vital in addressing potential hazards before they happen. Safety officers and managers should reach out to share proactive solutions as soon as they can identify problems in the workplace.
Lack of Emergency Preparedness
Comprehensive planning goes a long way to protect employees from potentially fatal incidents. Recovery policies should include a straightforward course of action and a chain of command during emergencies.
How can Employers Ensure Occupational Health and Safety in the Workplace?
As technology advances, occupational health and safety practices should update and change regularly to take advantage of it. One solution is having the right tools to streamline documentation and paperwork, such as enterprise project management software.
On top of having the right tools, employers can also monitor and implement best practices through the following:
#1. Invest in Occupational Health and Safety Programming
The first step in keeping the workplace safe is complying with legal and industrial requirements and standards. However, compliance is a continuous process. Safety officers and managers need to ensure that they regularly meet these standards.
Regular compliance is crucial for safety program management, and OHS software is an excellent tool for maintaining these standards.
OHS software can do many things, but its primary purpose is to streamline and automate tedious processes. These can range from paperwork (incident reporting) to equipment scheduling and tracking.
Other things that OHS software can do include the following:
- Journey Management – Lone workers using OHS software can benefit from automated and real-time monitoring.
- Location Tracking – Workers can be safe in the field thanks to OHS software's ability to record and store location history.
- Training Matrix Creation – HR and safety officers can easily monitor training and assess team members' skills and competencies.
#2. Coordinate and Communicate with Safety Personnel
Another part of investing in occupational health and safety management is keeping communications clear.
OHS management software can work as a mix of tools, including meeting management and creative project management software. Here's how OHS software streamlines communication:
- User-Friendly Interface - Communication starts with a user-friendly interface. Users should be able to navigate and access their tools effectively with minimal input.
- User Management – OHS software can automatically track employee credentials and training. It can also create a customizable company hierarchy to streamline internal processes.
- Asset Management – OHS software can help businesses manage their assets by creating accounts for tracking equipment, vehicles, etc.
- Document Library – Cloud-based platforms allow personnel to store and access paperwork anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
- Geospatial Information System (GIS) – Geo-tagging is not new, but it's a great way to manage workers, assets, and site progress reports in one tool.
#3. Ensure Employee Health via Medical Screenings
Workers form the backbone of every company, meaning their health is a priority in safety program management. Employees should not only have medical screenings at work but should also have regular check-ups.
To better help employees and field workers, HR officers can coordinate with in-house medical staff using OHS software.
With OHS software streamlining communications between these departments, workers can receive better care faster. You can immediately take action with work-related injuries, and team leaders can receive updates instantly.
#4. Keep the Dialogue Open for Improving Workplace Safety
Safety officers, supervisors, and managers should understand the importance of preparation and open dialogue regarding workplace safety.
To this end, employees should be able to report hazards and identify potential concerns consistently. Regular meetings to review current safety rules allow workers to bring up said concerns and hazards.
For upper management, OHS software can also function as meeting management software for faster and more streamlined communication.
Safety program management in any organization is a complex process with many moving parts and deliverables. On top of completing these deliverables, safety officers and managers also need to oversee and coordinate them simultaneously.
This is where OHS software comes in. This tool is a platform that combines different tools and core features that are essential in any industry. Not only are they capable of automating tedious processes, but they also serve as storage for essential documents.