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The reasons for the prevention cannot be measured in dollar terms, but their impact is highly positive for companies that apply them. Human benefit affects workers first, but also indirectly affects companies, as the impact of the quality of life improvements on the degree of job satisfaction is significant.

As well, undertaking preventive action in collaboration with workers and their representatives has been shown to improve communications and relations between the parties involved, and the consequences are often felt on the general quality of labour relations.

What is Risk Management?

Risk Management is the process of identifying and evaluating risk and developing strategies to manage its strategies include:

  • Transferring or mitigating risk to another party.
  • Avoiding risk.
  • Reducing the negative effects of risk.
  • Accepting the consequences of a risk.

Workplace safety is the process of protecting employees from work-related illness and injury facilitated by accurately assessing work environment; reviewing safety & health policies and procedures; implementing workplace safety plan; program and committee.

Why Organization’s Safety Committee is Needed?

Organization’s Safety Committee is needed to:

  • Create Or Improve Safety Culture in an organization.
  • Managers are aware of production or operational safety issues.
  • Educate all members of an organization through Awareness and Training.
  • Help save time and money by improving everyday work activities
  • Detect Problems/Issues Proactively Rather Than Reactively.
  • Make workplace safety a more formalized and important commitment.
  • Help in Reducing The Risk Of Workplace Injuries And Illness.
  • Show upper management’s genuine concern for employees’ well-being.
  • Help Ensure Compliance With State Health And Safety Regulations.
  • Increase employees’ safety awareness and knowledge.
  • Provide Opportunity For Discussion Of Problems And Possible Solutions.

5 Tips to Form an Organization’s Safety Committee:

1. Initiate and Maintain Awareness of Safety Issues Throughout All Levels and Departments of Employees

The present study was conducted in one of the CSO conferences in India aiming to assess the occupational exposures and the level of awareness for health and safety among workers. Undoubtedly, the industry is one of the main sources affecting environmental quality.

Concern for a clean working environment for the industrial workers is based on the fact that improved air quality leads to high productivity and the human welfare of workers. This means that the efforts to improve the working environment have positive impacts on workers, concerned companies and the economy as a whole. Humans are daily exposed to different kinds of dangerous exposures.

Occupationally, workers are at higher risk of different hazards depending on the type of industry. A high level of awareness of health and safety is a very important issue for workers in petrochemical industries. You should acknowledge positive safety strategies as well as problematic circumstances.

Give members the necessary tools such as access to safety literature and safety organization and training or direction on certain topics.

Goals and Objectives of workplace safety should be clear following are some Sample Goals and Objectives:

  • Increased committee involvement in safety issues throughout the organization.
  • Increased safety awareness among employees.
  • Increased management support for committee activities.
  • Reduction of unsafe behaviour.
  • Fewer accidents and lowered insurance costs.
  • The motivation for committee members to “keep up the good work”

Evaluations:

Self-audits can be used to determine the effectiveness of:

  • Identifies areas where improvements can be made to enhance the committee’s operations and contribute to the workplace.
  • Meetings, members, sub-committees, and leadership.
  • Once the committee has been operational for several months, members should evaluate their structure and procedures.

The currently raised recommendations and needs to improve communication between safety management committee and workers and to emphasize the role of training courses to ensure better safety communication and involvement of all workers in top safety management of the company.

2. Recommend Mechanisms That Reduce the Frequency and Severity of Incidents

Workplace accidents can be reduced through effective preventative measures by investing in training, and educating the employees, process design, safety equipment, and machinery. In some circumstances, accidents can mean financial costs. Every injury entails physical costs. Serious injuries imply human and psychological costs for workers and their families.

The social life of workers and their family can also be affected these are social costs. Indirectly, society bears some costs related to work accidents, which are almost impossible to quantify. To develop a good safety culture, the attitude of the workers needs to be reoriented by applying best practices, change in work culture, good housekeeping, and work practices.

Initially, employers must cover compensation costs or direct costs, accidents, where workers are compensated, generate other costs covered by employers, these are indirect costs. There are many other accidents, for which workers do not receive compensation. They are the most frequent and costly in terms of other costs.

Suggested Roles and Duties of Committee Members:

  • Clearly define the duties and responsibilities of officers and general members.
  • Conducting visual surveys of the workplace to identify safety and health concerns at least quarterly.
  • Develop, implement, and review written safety programs and build support for safety programs among employees generally.
  • Promoting safety and first aid training for all employees.
  • Direct involvement with organization-wide safety training.
  • Conducting regularly scheduled meetings to discuss accident and illness prevention methods, safety and health promotion, hazards noted on inspections and other pertinent subjects.
  • Supply informational materials which can help to promote optimum safety operations to be evaluated by the committee and disseminated to the employee base.
  • Record and disseminate the minutes of each meeting, documenting attendance, problems and issues and corrective action proposed and actions are taken to address each issue.
  • Establish dispute resolution procedures.
  • Propose and create safety checklists.
  • Taking action to correct the identified hazards by developing suggestions for management.
  • Report unsafe conditions and suggest corrective actions.
  • Meet regularly, monthly and possibly more frequently.
  • Review all serious injuries – not for fault finding but for fact-finding to prevent reoccurrences.
  • Reviewing incidents that resulted in injury or illness as well as the “near misses” that didn’t result in injury.
  • Identify high-risk job tasks and develop written safe operating procedures.
  • Contribute ideas and suggestions for safety improvements.
  • Work safely and influence others to do the same.
  • Make meeting attendance mandatory with the penalty of removal for repeated absences.
  • Make periodic facility safety audits.
  • Sponsor and coordinate contests, poster programs, safety drives, etc.

3. Create a Link Between Management and Employees

In today’s global work environment, virtual work has become a useful concept for companies to expand and reach markets around the world. The advanced technology has made it possible for geographically dispersed managers and employees, to work together, communicate and interact. These teams also make it possible for people to work faster than if they have to meet face-to-face. Virtual work though has its challenges and it can be a result of the decrease in face-to-face interactions.

Virtual work, therefore, increases the requirements on the managers and employees and virtual team managers may face different challenges than managers of traditional teams. It is, for example, unclear if the technologies that are used for communication are a good substitute for face-to-face interaction.

Virtual teams are an increasing trend in companies today, It is a more complex, dynamic and global work environment that have made virtual work grow and virtual teams are important for the organizations to be successful in the demanding global market today. This work setting has both its benefits and challenges for the managers of the employees.

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Businesspeople planning on a glass wall

Top management officials should attend meetings at least periodically. Set Timelines and Prepare an Agenda:

  • Committee Chairperson should prepare agendas for each meeting and include:
    • Adjournment.
    • Prompt commencement of the meeting.
    • Roll call.
    • New business.
    • Introduction of guests.
    • Review of minutes.
    • Review of action plan items and safety committee functions.
    • Education.
  • Time limits should be placed on meetings.

If the managers have the opportunity to work on the relationship with employees, they will do it in different ways.

For example, do some more coaching so that some people become more outspoken, because, some are less outspoken due to cultural background. Have more time for the employees, be more involved, have more chitchat and give more feedback were also mentioned. One manager wanted better videoconference equipment, so it is possible to sit together in big groups with the people.

Most managers also stated that they want to meet the employees abroad more often, not only for work but do other activities as well, the travel restrictions were seen as negative in this aspect. Managers that are managing their teams from a distance may face different challenges compared to managers of traditional teams that are located at the same place.

The manager of a virtual team must find ways to handle different degrees of autonomy, interdependence and of course face-to-face contact. This can be hard because traditional leadership that is practised in teams where the employees are located in the same place may not always be suitable to practice in virtual teams. The traditional method of controlling and influencing the employees might not work in virtual teams. Virtual work, therefore, increases the requirements on managers of virtual teams.

Safety Equipment-Safety Committee

Photo Credit – pexels.com

4. Facilitate Free-flow of Communication Within the Organization

Communication is mainly computer-mediated in virtual teams; teleconference, videoconference, and e-mail are for example used. Face-to-face communication can although be used also.

Face-to-face settings can be defined as interactions between people who are at the same location at the same time. Face-to-Face communications mean that people are located in the same place and can see and hear each other. The synchronicity is high and allows people to interact quickly and they can observe and convey facial expression and body language.

Face-to-face communication means that people also can convey, listen and speak. These different aspects can be hard to fulfil in virtual teams when communicating. Those who work virtually are forced to overcome hinders such as lack of face-to-face interaction, time differences, and difficulties with communication tools.

Keep employees informed about the committee through Solicitation of input from employees; Posting of meeting minutes or notices; Dissemination of articles and newsletters. Post-meeting minutes, conveying the results of the committee’s activities and future objectives, Promote communication and safety to the entire organization. Research has found that face-to-face communication is the most effective way for people in teams to interact with each other.

Face-to-face communication is also important when building relationships and research have shown that employees prefer face-to-face communication.

However, it may not always be possible in today’s organizations for employees and managers to meet face-to-face. Time constraints and travel costs may restrict the possibility for the employees to meet in person. The lack of face-to-face communication has its disadvantages for employees in organizations.

For example, the interaction between people tends to be less verbal and social when they do not physically meet. This can lead to that the members of virtual teams experience social isolation. It is not certain if new technologies can be used as a substitute for the lack of face-to-face communication.

Determine a Schedule for effective communication:

The safety committee must meet regularly and discuss special problems or crisis require additional meetings. It’s recommended that the safety committee holds meeting monthly.

5. Eliminate Unsafe Behaviors

Each committee should be made up of individuals from various areas and levels of the organization—representing the administration, operating departments and staff personnel.

Membership Qualities:

  • Commitment to workplace safety.
  • Open-minded. 
  • Familiarity with safety process and procedure.
  • Articulate.
  • Willingness to participate.
  • Peers respect.

The adopted criteria for membership selection must be consistent with applicable state and local union contractual language. These criteria should cover all membership positions/functions, including the chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary and general membership.

Develop criteria that formally define the membership selection process, qualification requirements, length of individual membership terms and rotation of membership procedures. Union participation on the committee should be by state / local labour agreements. Position descriptions for general members should be written to clarify individual roles and responsibilities. Improved inspections by implementing cooperative inspections that include worker and management representation, Issue rewards following inspections, Make inspections fun and gratifying, and identify both negative and positive elements of the workplace.

The policy should reflect the true values of the management and not remain only a piece of paper posted on the door. Great declarations create high expectations and if they are not followed by practical and tangible action, only frustration will result.

A nice policy without a firm commitment from the management will lead nowhere. Beware! Signing a policy binds the parties, and the true test of credibility for policy lies in its application. The health and safety policy, however, is the foundation of the committee’s work, its starting point.

The policy should state that both parties are committed to making the Organization’s Safety Committee work and willing to create conditions to ensure its success. To make that intention clear, the policy should be signed by both parties and widely distributed.

Written By
Maxwell Donovan works for a B2B Conference hosting company called Corptive. His prime undertaking is to discover the correct group of spectators for the meetings and different business occasions. These meetings and occasions are basically held at top conference settings in India.

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