Why You Should Establish a Safety Culture in the Workplace

Every heavy industrial or construction company you come across will likely say that worker safety is one of the most important pillars of their organization.

Minimizing incidents is a top priority, not only to keep employees healthy and safe, but also to reduce the costs associated with on-the-job injuries. But how many organizations really practice what they preach? Incorporating a safety curriculum into new hire training programs alone is not going to facilitate a safe working environment. To truly maximize safety on-the-job, every organization must establish a strong safety culture in the workplace.

Safety-Culture-in-the-WorkplaceWhat is a Safety Culture?

A safety culture is a company-wide mindset that revolves around putting safety first, always. It’s not a set of rules, or a work environment that is completely void of risk, rather it is an atmosphere that promotes and enforces safety best practices.

In workplaces with safety cultures, employees are encouraged to go above and beyond to identify unsafe working conditions and behaviors, and work to correct them. In general, safety cultures promote greater safety awareness and enforcement, which results in significantly fewer incident rates.

Safety-Culture-in-the-WorkplaceBenefits of a Safety Culture in the Workplace

According to OSHA, establishing a strong safety culture can have the single greatest impact on the reduction of incidents. Specifically, a safety culture in the workplace can:

  • Minimize risky employee behaviors
  • Decrease absenteeism and turnover
  • Improve worker productivity
  • Improve the health and well-being of employees
  • Decrease workers comp payouts
  • Save lives!

Implementing Change

Changing a company’s culture is not an easy feat, and it takes a long time. Just like any other major corporate change, implementing a safety culture should start at the top—without buy-in and enthusiastic participation from leadership, any initiatives for change will fall flat. With the executive team on board, the next step is to clearly establish key policies, goals, and a system for accountability—and then clearly communicate any changes to the entire team.

Once implementation, training and enforcement are under way, it’s critical for you continually measure performance, communicate results and celebrate positive outcomes as a team. It’s a complex process, but one that will undoubtedly change the culture of your business for the better.

Safety-Culture-in-the-Workplace

U.S. Standard Products strongly advocates for safety cultures in the workplace, and provides a wide range of safety products to help you and your team stay protected on the job. For more tips on safety in the workplace, follow U.S. Standard Products on social media:

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Stay Safe While Working Outdoors This Summer

Summer is peak season for construction and other outdoor work, and while the warm weather and sunshine is nice, it’s important to consider safety when working outdoors in extreme heat.

Hot temperatures may not seem particularly threatening, but heat stress injuries and heat strokes can be quite dangerous for outdoor workers. To stay safe while working outdoors this summer, keep these tips in mind:

Be Seen

Whether you’re laying the foundation for a new home or repaving a high-traffic road, every day you’re putting yourself in close proximity to potential harm. To stay safe on the job, it’s critical for you to be seen.

There are many garments and accessories available that can keep you cool, dry, and most importantly, visible while working outdoors. From vests, to gloves, to rainwear and more, U.S. Standard Products offers a wide range of brightly colored, reflective products that ensure maximum visibility.

Wear the Proper Protection

Wearing the right protective gear should be a no-brainer year-round, but it’s particularly important when working in an uncontrolled environment—like the outdoors. Road construction workers, for example, are perpetually at risk of being hit by a passing car.

Having the proper protection for the job, whether that be ear plugs, safety glasses, work gloves, head protection, etc., is critical for your safety. Browse the U.S. Standard Products catalog for a comprehensive offering of workplace safety products.

Don’t Forget To Stay Hydrated

It’s pretty simple: when you’re sweating more due to the warm weather, you need to replenish the fluids lost or you’ll risk becoming dehydrated. Steer clear of drinking a lot of soda and coffee, which can actually lead to dehydration—instead opt for water that’s kept between 50°F and 60°F.

In hot weather, you should be drinking water as often as every 15 minutes. See OSHA’s recommendations for preventing heat illness in extreme temperatures for more information on staying hydrated while working outdoors.

Slather on the SPF

Just a few years ago, going out on a job without wearing sunscreen was the norm. But, with all of the research emerging about the links between the sun’s rays and skin cancer, it’s been found that going SPF-free really is not worth the risk. To keep your skin safe, get in the routine of applying a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every morning before walking out the door.

Keep a tube in your workbag and re-apply every few hours to ensure maximum protection. If you’re not required to wear a hard hat on the job, consider wearing a ball cap to protect your head and help to shield your face and eyes from the sun.

working-outdoors

The general guidelines above should help your team to stay safe while working outdoors this summer. For equipment to help your team work safely and comfortably in the summer heat, check out the U.S. Standard Products catalog for high-quality, cost-effective apparel and gear.

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