Not only is it important that business owners take time building out safety standards throughout their workplace(s), as we discussed in Part 1, but it is also vital to collect data to review these standards and make improvements.
Measuring Workplace Safety
As with any area of business, data is key. The more information you can record and analyze, the easier it becomes to find areas where you can make significant safety improvements.
But what data should you collect? How much? Will it work? Read on for some ideas:
Types of Data
First and foremost, you should keep accurate records of any work-related injuries and illnesses. One major document to review is the OSHA Employee’s Report of Injury Form/Supervisor's Incident Investigation Report, which your team should complete after an accident. This document contains data such as where and when the incident happened, the nature of any injuries, and what happened during the incident.
You may also want to prioritize complaints from employees, as they can offer suggestions before an accident takes place. All of this data can help identify trouble areas by allowing you to find patterns.
Determine how much data will be collected
Even after prioritizing workplace safety by following guidelines, implementing training, talking to employees, and working with experts, an injury or accident might still occur in the workplace. If/when this happens, business owners or managers should take the time to collect accurate data.
- Take time to collect accurate data after an accident. Gathering more data to help identify the exact problem, rather than making a quick guess, will be more effective in making a positive change.
- Collect preventative data outside of an accident to make sure that one can be avoided if possible. You can regularly check in with your teams to discuss any issues or concerns that they may have to prevent problems down the road.
- Aggregate data you collected frequently. Knowing how many total hours have been lost to specific illnesses and injuries, the total amount of times a type of accident has taken place, or frequent areas of concern by employees can be invaluable when putting data into action.
In the end, a business owner will need to tailor these ideas to their organization to determine the frequency and level of details required.
Putting data into action
It's easy to assume that investing a great deal of resources in safety will help create a safe workspace without much risk, and spending fewer resources will lead to an unsafe space that sees a slew of accidents and injuries.
However, you can work within your budget to maintain a safe workplace using all collected data. Consider dedicating more time and resources if potential problems arise. Here are a few examples:
- Employee suggestions/complaints show that too many employees have back issues in the office, and more funding needs to be allocated to new chairs and desks.
- Accident reports show that your training program may be ineffective, and time and money need to be directed towards professional training and/or more frequent training.
- Data is slipping through the cracks, and the annual audit may not be effective. Time and money may need to be spent on more frequent safety audits.
After data is gathered and potential changes are made, it's important to review how effective your actions were.
- Are your safety audits bringing invaluable information?
- How was the speed of response? Did you fix the problem in a timely manner?
- Have the number of accidents and injuries gone down since making adjustments?
Are You Looking for Support With Workplace Safety?
If you don't have the time to actively collect and review safety data, and need support with your workplace safety, then you're in the right place.
To learn more about how we can help you improve your workplace safety, contact us today.