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While workplace safety is everybody’s business when businesses leave safety up to individuals very little often gets done.
That’s why many companies today are creating safety committees composed of workers from every level of the organization. Safety committees are often charged with identifying potential workplace dangers, offering solutions, and developing ideas to promote overall workplace safety.
Workplace safety committees often are most effective when they include people from every level, including upper management, line level hourly workers, and everybody in between. Creating a committee with representation from every department and job class helps create diversity, which offers a better overall perspective on workplace safety.
If the safety committee includes only upper management, it won’t get the valuable perspective of line-level employees who deal with potential workplace dangers every day. Including workers from every level from within the organization also gives representation to everybody so that they can talk to peers about safety without having to worry about overstepping their bounds.
Start Small, Dream Big
The initial goals of the new safety committee should be specific enough to be achievable, but not so large as to be overly intimidating. It’s often best to start with smaller projects and build up to bigger ones as the committee gets more experience and familiarity with their role.
Like anything else within an organization, the safety committee should have clearly defined goals that are measurable, including deadlines.
Meet Often on a Regular Schedule
For any safety committee to be successful, it needs to be taken seriously by both its members and the organization at large. Management should communicate its confidence in the committee publicly and encourage everybody within the organization to participate with recommendations, suggestions, and involvement.
Membership should be voluntary, although a few key players should be included such as safety directors and representation from management and human resources.
Meetings should be held according to a regular schedule, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or at least monthly. There should be an agenda that highlights priorities and offers updates on the committee’s progress.
Looking for Ideas
Safety committee members should do outreach to their peers to get ideas for making the workplace safer. The committee can even look to other businesses for ideas that have worked in other places.
Creating a safety committee within your business is a great way to promote workplace safety and give everybody a voice on how to make improvements that can prevent injuries and even save lives.