This is the first of a monthly series of posts designed for busy business and HR leaders responsible for managing safety programs.
It seems like the list of responsibilities for business leaders never ends. And in many organizations your responsibilities can include safety, on top of everything else.
A manageable approach to safety programs
You may not know where to start, and you probably only have limited time to address safety challenges. With that in mind, we designed this blog series for you, a leader who wants to keep their people safe and reduce risk by breaking it down into more manageable pieces.
Through this blog series will share simple concrete steps you can take to improve your safety programs over time, and build a healthier safety culture in your organization.
Why is recordkeeping important?
Let’s start off this safety series by looking at improving incident reporting and recordkeeping. It is important for employees to be able to report incidents including near misses that can lead to an injury. Not only it is required for most employers, but it is a treasure trove of important information for you. And let’s not forget that done with compassion and commitment to making things better sends the message to your employees that you care about their wellbeing, which positively impacts morale.
During my years as an OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) compliance officer, I found that the people responsible for safety frequently struggled to find the time to lead critical improvements in safety programs. So, you may be tempted to let the paperwork part slide. It’s a mistake for lots of reasons, including the need to comply with laws and regulations. It’s also stressful and may result in mistakes.
And about that treasure trove of information – you can leverage it to set goals to improve your safety programs. In fact, a good safety recordkeeping and reporting program is foundational to:
- lowering accident rates
- reducing workers’ compensation costs
- improving employee morale
More about this next time. It is all about identifying and mitigating risks and improving safety.
8 questions to get your safety recordkeeping on track
Getting started can be daunting. Let’s start with just 8 questions to ask yourself to improve your incident reporting and recordkeeping:
1. Are all occupational injuries and illnesses, including those involving loss of life, loss of consciousness, loss of time from work, and those requiring treatment other than first aid, recorded as required by OR-OSHA on the OSHA Form 300?
2. Are copies of OSHA Form 300 and First Report of Injury, Form 801, kept for five years?
3. Are you ready to post the OSHA 300A form in work locations by February 1st?
4. Have you made arrangements to maintain required records for the legal period for each type of record? (Some records must be maintained for at least 40 years.)
5. Are you maintaining records of employee safety and health training?
6. Are you documenting safety inspections and corrections?
7. Do you have an easy way for employees and supervisors to quickly report safety incidents?
8. Does everyone know that you only have 8 hours to report all work-related fatalities and catastrophes (multiple hospitalizations) and 24 hours to report in-patient hospitalization, amputation or avulsion, or a loss of an eye?
Good recordkeeping means good results
By focusing on your safety recordkeeping program and making sure your employees know how to report incidents, you are well on your way to better understanding the hazards that your employees are facing. Then you can take steps to reduce risks—and overall costs.
You can find more information on recordkeeping and incident reporting requirements at OR-OSHA. You can also reach out to the consultants at Integrated Success and talk about how we can help with the unique needs of your business.
In our next blog post we will explore what to do with all this incident data, now that you have collected it.
Yours in success,
Chief Safety Consultant
Rebecca is the Chief Safety Consultant of Integrated Success HR Consulting & Coaching, LLC. She has extensive credentials and experience as an Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management professional and leader across a variety of industries. Her background in for-profit, non-profit and governmental organizations, and as a former OSHA compliance officer, means Rebecca knows how to design cost-effective programs that really work. Rebecca’s passion is translating her vast experience into straight-forward programs for busy leaders.