Environmental compliance and workplace safety are essential in numerous industries. If you run a business or supervise a team, there’s a good chance you’re responsible for making sure you comply with all regulations and achieve a safe working environment for every project.
The following tips will help you do just that. Just remember, while these tips are helpful, they’re also general. The specific nature of your work may require taking additional steps to optimize environmental compliance and overall safety.
6 Best Ways to Ensure Environmental Compliance and Workplace Safety
1. Train Thoroughly
You may be a member of your company most responsible for ensuring environmental compliance and a safe working environment for everyone. However, it’s important to remember that every member of a team can potentially create an unsafe situation or fail to avoid potential hazards if they don’t have the proper knowledge.
That’s why it’s essential to develop a thorough training program for all employees. Throughout the year, you should also review your program to determine if it’s yielding results, or if you need to make improvements.
Keep in mind that your employees shouldn’t undergo environmental compliance and workplace safety training once. All workers must remember everything they need to know about keeping one another safe on the job. Therefore, you should require employees to undergo training on an annual basis.
Additionally, if your company begins working on projects that potentially involve hazards and situations that past projects did not involve, you might also need to update your safety training program accordingly. For example, maybe your company is starting to work on job sites that could potentially expose workers to hazardous chemicals. You need to update your training to account for this.
2. Review Past Mistakes
Your goal should be to ensure workplace safety and environmental compliance. Unfortunately, accidents can occur. Even if you manage to avoid them in the future, there’s a good chance your company has had incidents in the past.
Make sure you learn from them. Study every incident and safety issue to determine the factors involved, the potential causes, and, most importantly, what you can do in the future to prevent these incidents from occurring again. This will help you effectively update your training program and all related workplace safety plans.
3. Ensure Proper Communication
Regardless of your specific industry, you probably understand the importance of communicating your goals to all participating team members when preparing to work at a job site. You don’t want to waste time and money because your employees don’t know what they’re specifically supposed to achieve.
This same principle should apply to workplace safety and environmental compliance. When preparing for jobs, thoroughly assess all potential risk factors (as well as what you can do to mitigate them), and communicate this information carefully to all employees involved in the job.
You might even want to create documents explaining potential risk factors before each project. If, for instance, a team member that was going to work on a particular job had to back out at the last minute because they were ill, someone would naturally replace them. It’s crucial that their replacement also be familiar with the hazards that may be present at the job site. With a thorough document, you can share this information with employees at the last minute when situations like this one arise.
4. Check Your Equipment
You probably don’t need to be told that using the proper equipment is key to workplace safety and environmental compliance. This includes both the tools your employees may use on a given job, as well as any safety gear or equipment they may bring with them to job sites.
However, it’s also essential that you regularly test and inspect your equipment. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your gear is in good shape. Checking your equipment routinely will help you identify potential risks you would have otherwise overlooked. Depending on the nature of your work, you might even want to check all equipment before each and every job.
5. Focus on Risk Management
Environmental compliance for workplace safety shouldn’t simply involve striving to comply with all applicable regulations. After all, you might know that regulations are frequently changed and updated. In fact, one of your top responsibilities may involve regularly reviewing regulations to stay abreast of these changes.
That means you can’t necessarily be certain that complying with the applicable regulations will ensure complete workplace safety. The fact that regulations get updated means they sometimes fail to address all necessary hazards and issues. If they were always perfect, no one would ever have to change them.
Remember this when developing environmental compliance plans for workplace safety. Instead of focusing on complying with regulations, you should instead focus on overall risk management.
That’s (of course) not to say that you should disregard environmental compliance. It will always be important to understand and comply with regulations and laws. However, you’re even more likely to achieve a safe workplace if you approach jobs to ensure absolute workplace safety and not mere compliance.
6. Coordinate with Professionals
Environmental compliance can be a complicated subject. Without the proper training and education, there’s a good chance you don’t understand it as thoroughly as you need to if workplace safety is your goal.
That’s a key reason it’s important to coordinate with environmental compliance experts. It allows you to leverage their expertise when assessing risks, performing compliance audits, developing accident prevention plans, and much more. It also gives your workers the peace of mind that comes from knowing their employer is working with professionals to ensure complete safety. This has actually been shown to improve employee engagement. Workers have more respect for their employers (and find it easier to focus on their tasks) when they believe safety is a top priority.
The Importance of Environmental Compliance and Workplace Safety
Keep in mind that these are merely a few tips to remember when developing workplace safety plans. You need to be vigilant when preparing for jobs. If you are, you’ll be far less likely to face the consequences of non-compliance or workplace accidents.