There are good reasons to take safety seriously. In 2012, there were, on average, 89 workplace fatalities a week.1 An estimated $1 billion is paid by employers in direct workers compensation costs every week.2
A safe work environment does not happen by accident. Management must be fully engaged in creating, planning, implementing, communicating and making sure safety programs work and are designed to fit the business. Most importantly, employees have to understand their role in making their workplace safer.
Eight Key Components of a Safety Management Program
Your safety management program should incorporate the following 8 key components:
- Demonstrate management involvement – Management must lead by example. A visible demonstration that you embrace a safety culture is imperative to its success. Provide the essential time, budget and resources to create and support a safety program.
- Communicate your safety plan clearly – Your safety plan must be published and available to all employees. Reminders and updates should be timely and effective. Allow employees to contribute their suggestions to making the workplace safer.
- Get everyone involved – A safety program is likely to be more effective when employees at all levels are involved. Standardized policies should outline responsibilities and accountability for all employees. Safety goals can become part of job descriptions and employee reviews. Safety committees can help ensure that safety practices are understood and reinforced throughout the company. Positive reinforcement of safe behaviors can be an effective way to help build the desired culture.
- Train your employees to work safely – Safety training should begin from the moment an employee is hired. Ongoing training is also essential to creating a safety culture.
- Review, revise, improve – A safety program should be dynamic, especially since most business environments continue to evolve. An effective safety program should be flexible enough to adjust to changes. Regularly review, evaluate and identify risks that could affect safety, and make the changes necessary to keep your workplace safe.
- Create safety standards – Each department should set safety standards through a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) to make sure every task is done correctly and safely. Recognize good safety performance, and cite and correct unsafe practices.
- Investigate every incident and accident thoroughly – Properly trained staff with experience in investigation, analysis and evidence collection should conduct an accident analysis as soon as possible after an incident. Report the claim within 24 hours to help ensure prompt response and injury management.
- Manage every injury – Even with the best safety program, an employee injury can still occur. Planning helps you to react immediately when an employee is injured on the job. Learn about five strategies that can help you put employees on the road back to productivity.
While initiating a comprehensive program can seem like a major hurdle to safety, we can help businesses like yours take the necessary steps to begin creating a safety culture.
No one expects the worst to happen, but sometimes it just does. Whether it is a complete power outage or a fire breaking out in your break room, preparing for the unexpected should be part of your overall safety program.
While prevention should always be your first priority, preparedness may reduce the severity of the event and help maintain your employees’ safety.
Emergency Planning is Your Responsibility
Every company should have a published, well-communicated and practiced emergency preparedness and life safety plan.
The National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) provide codes, regulations and guidance on emergency action and fire prevention plans, including minimum standards. OSHA, in fact, requires a written emergency action plan for workplaces with 10 or more employees. Employers with fewer than 10 employees must still have an emergency action plan, but they may communicate the plan orally to employees.
Of course, a plan is only as good as its effectiveness, when put into action. How would your plan fare in a real emergency? Do your employees know what to do? These are questions to ask before an emergency happens.
Communicating, training and drilling are all essential elements to include in your emergency action plan, and can help make the critical difference in life safety outcomes.
Effective Planning Can Save Lives
In the first critical minutes of an emergency, taking the right steps can help save lives. Planning ahead and maintaining a well-trained emergency team can help make the critical difference.
- Appoint, organize and train designated staff with their emergency response duties and responsibilities.
- Document and distribute emergency procedures, including how to notify the fire department, evacuate employees and provide accommodations for those with special assistance needs.
- Publish instructions for the use of emergency equipment, such as the voice communication system, the alarm system or emergency power supply system.
- Post procedures for confining, controlling and extinguishing fires.
- Post procedures for assisting the fire department in accessing and locating the fire.
- Communicate your evacuation plan to all employees, visitors, vendors and contractors.
- Distribute the plan to emergency personnel who will be responsible for taking actions to maximize the safety of building occupants, including the fire department and designated emergency management and supervisory staff.
- Post your evacuation/floor plan exit diagram in clearly visible locations. Assign locations away from the building or job site for employees to gather.
- Practice drills on a regular basis. Monitor and evaluate drill performance to consider improvements.
- Include full, partial and shelter-in-place evacuations, designed in cooperation with local authorities, to familiarize employees with procedures.
- Develop a roll call system to account for all persons and notifications to the fire department of any missing person.
Travelers safety professionals see a broad spectrum of businesses and facilities and understand the plans used to ensure emergency preparedness. Every day, we share our insights with our customers to help keep their businesses, and most importantly, their people, safe.
Are you a homeowner or contractor? Did you know that you are required to call the number ‘811’ before digging on any property so that you can be made aware of any underground lines (e.g. pipes, cables and associated utilities) buried in the area? Improper digging can lead to damage to underground lines that can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers or excavators, and even incur potential fines and repair costs.
In case you did not know, 811 is the national “Call Before You Dig” phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission. This number was developed to eliminate the confusion of multiple “Call Before You Dig” numbers because it is easy to use, is the same for every state, and can help protect anyone who does dig from injury, expense and potential penalties.
What Happens After Calling 811?
All 811 calls are routed to a local One Call Center and the affected utilities. The utility will then send crews to the location to mark any underground lines for the homeowner or excavator for free.
Do Most People Call Before They Dig?
Believe it or not, in spite of all the potential danger and damage that can be caused, the answer is “no.” According to a recent national survey, 45 percent of American homeowners who plan to dig this year said that they would not call 811 beforehand.*
For more information about the 811 call system, visit http://www.call811.com. To download the most current industry Best Practices in connection with preventing damage to underground facilities, go to http://commongroundalliance.com/.
The holidays simply would not be the same without lots of bright lights. Not only do they add to the festive look of this time of the year, they also bring back many memories. There are a lot of people who think the holidays are not complete without tons of lights strung everywhere.
With all those lights, though, you might come to an unpleasant realization when you plug in some unrelated electrical device and you find yourself in the dark. Overloading your circuits is easier than you might think. There are safety mechanisms put into place in electrical systems that are correctly installed, but losing a section of the electricity in your home when you plug in that last string of lights can put a damper on your holiday celebration.
While implementing a temporary fix to your overloaded circuits is pretty easy, a long term solution that works year after year is always best. If you find yourself flipping breakers – for more modern homes – or blowing fuses – for those older homes that still use them – then simply unplug a few items, flip the breaker or replace the fuse and move on. As for those devices that you had to remove from the overloaded circuit, resist the urge to use electrical cords that snake throughout your home since they will only add to the list of potential hazards.
Instead, opt to move them completely. Before bringing out the lights and other decorations that require electricity, make a plan for the outlets that you do have. While you can add a power strip to one outlet to increase its capacity, stick to those that have three sockets to ensure that you do not have the same overloaded circuit problem.
Because overloaded circuits are still a fire hazard – in spite of the safety mechanisms that are built into your electrical system – you will want to contact a qualified electrical contractor to have more outlets installed as soon as possible.
Roughly 374,000 fires occur in homes across the U.S. each year, 54% of them occur in the winter. Protect your home and family from being a statistic when you create a fire emergency plan. It helps you stay safe as you recognize Child Safety Protection.
1. Discuss Fire Safety Tips
Obviously, you want to extinguish candles, cigarettes and other open flames immediately. You also need to supervise meal prep in the kitchen to ensure nothing catches on fire. However, did you know that fabric can be flammable when it lies near the heater? Teach your family to prevent these and other fire hazards.
2. Hang Smoke Detectors
To ensure everyone can safely escape a fire, place smoke detectors on every floor of your home where you can hear them day and night. Since smoke rises, place them on the ceiling or high on the walls.
3. Locate Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers need to be accessible. Place one in the kitchen under the sink or in the pantry. Other smart locations include near the entrance and exit doors and at least one on each floor. Once they’re securely attached to the wall, ensure your adult and teen family members know how to use them.
4. Choose the Exits
Your home’s layout determines where you can safely exit. In each room, choose two door or window exits that assist your family in safely escaping a house fire. If you have a second story, store an escape ladder near the window, and make sure you know how to use it properly.
5. Designate an Outdoor Meeting Spot
Whether your family meets at a neighbor’s house or a tree across the street, designate an outdoor base camp. Call 911 from this spot after everyone safely escapes the fire.
6. Practice the Plan
Even the best fire emergency plan will be ineffective if your family members don’t know what to do when a fire starts. Test the fire alarms and teach your kids what they sound like. Then, practice escaping out of the nearest exit and meeting at your designated spot.
Your family’s fire emergency plan can keep you safe as you recognize Child Safety Protection Month. Additionally, talk to your insurance agent and ensure you have adequate home insurance for your house and possessions. Insurance won’t prevent fires, but it will give you peace of mind this month and year round.
In most aspects of life there exists insurance to help in protecting assets in the case of damage or unfortunate loss. When it comes to farms this is no exception; however, the typical business insurance or ordinary car insurance will not meet the bar when it comes to insuring the farm and tractors. It is advisable that if your business is farming or you are thinking about purchasing a weekend farm getaway that you consult with an insurance professional with experience in farming.
There is a famous saying that “knowing is half the battle,” so our goal is to review a few areas that have specific insurance needs. This way when you meet with an insurance professional you can get on the right track. As a general rule farm property is covered under specifically qualified policies to include farm machinery, livestock, farm trailers and even irrigation equipment. Depending on the coverage there may even be automatic coverage for new equipment up to $100,000 for the first 60 days – similar to a new born child being under the parents insurance until the child is individually registered. There are other types of equipment such as antennas and satellite radio devices typical on farms in extremely rural areas. In addition to coverage for these types of items there are other optional coverages that should be considered.
Depending on the exact type of farm things like chicken coups, silos, fences and feed racks have the ability to be covered under a farm policy. For those living in the city the details of a chicken farm and the equipment to keep it functioning are just not a reality. However for the farmer, these are essential aspects to their daily life. This is precisely why insurance companies carefully address all the details involved in farm life. Additional coverages are even defined as to the type of use of the equipment, because farm life can vary drastically.
One of our insurance professionals will review your farm and equipment to explain all available coverages and its intricacies.
Content provided by Transformer Marketing.