How to Measure Work Safety

Workplace safety is an important aspect to the success of a company. Keeping employees safe from injuries and health problems while on the job not only makes good business sense, it is required by law. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces rules and regulations to keep American workplaces safe, and other countries have similar agencies. There are several ways to measure work safety with the goal of improving it. Measure work safety by examining the risk of exposure, reviewing the programs and initiatives that are in place, considering the climate and culture of the workplace and identifying safety leaders.


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    Assess the exposure to risk. Your working environment and the conditions of the people, equipment and procedures will help you determine whether people are likely to get hurt.
    • Look at the things that might be creating the exposure to risk. For example, if paid sick time is not available at your company, workers might hesitate to stay home when they are infectious, bringing their illness into the workplace.
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    Evaluate the safety programs you currently have in place. Ensure they are having a positive result.
    • Make sure all safety programs and initiatives cover personal safety as well as procedural safety. For example, workers who are trained on how to avoid getting a chemical burn will know how to protect themselves, and how to keep their process free from the risk of a burn.
    • Adjust programs that are not working. If all new employees are trained on how to safely use a specific piece of equipment, but incidents are rising on that machine, something is missing in the safety training.
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    Review your organizational culture to determine whether safety is a priority. Conduct employee surveys to find out if workers feel safe and offer rewards to departments and teams that achieve productivity and success without any injuries.
    • Evaluate the strength of your team. When workers are concerned about the safety of others as well as their own safety, a positive and safe environment is created.
    • Encourage workers to look at safety as something not specific to their own work or department. For example, anyone should be comfortable pointing out a spill or a leak or another safety concern.
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    Determine how safety decisions are made. For example, staffing might not seem like a safety issue, but it could become one if workers are getting hurt because there is not enough help when it comes to moving heavy items or monitoring a residential environment.
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    Identify safety leaders. These can be supervisors, managers or low level employees. Reward and compensate those who make safety a priority.
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    Conduct inspections and audits. Highlight impressive results and use those high achieving areas as a model for anything that is not working as it should.
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    Put drills and practice sessions into place. Hold fire alarms, practice what would be done during a chemical spill or a major accident. This will demonstrate the preparedness of employees and help them feel prepared.


  • Track successes as well as failures. Instead of posting the number of injuries in a given time period, post the number of days, weeks or months that have passed without an injury.
  • Remember to use the data you collect to look for patterns. Track the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities that occur to figure out if there is a particular department or area that needs extra attention.

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Categories: Workplace Health and Safety